A good deal of legend surrounds the ladybug. The Swiss told their children that new babies arrived via the ladybug. Austrians would ask the ladybug for good weather. In northern Germany, people said that fewer than seven spots on a ladybug was an indication of a big harvest to come. A widely circulated story suggests the name ladybug came from Mary, the mother of Jesus. Centuries ago farmers prayed to Mary to help get rid of swarms of insects destroying their crops. Shortly after, ladybugs came and preyed on the pests. So then the farmers called this insect, “the bug of Our Lady,” which was eventually shortened to ladybug, the Garden Insects website explains.
Paper Plate Puppet
Cut six 4-inch lengths of black paper to use as ladybug legs. Put the legs between two paper plates with eating surfaces facing inward. Staple the plates together as you attach the legs as well. Staple until the top two-thirds of the paper plate circle are stapled. Leave the bottom of the plates open. Cut off the bottom of the two plates where they were not stapled to create the place to insert a hand. Paint the ladybug red. Allow the paint to dry and then glue on a black construction paper oval to form the head. Cut out some black circles to add spots to the ladybug. Glue on some googly eyes and add pipe cleaner antennae.
Lady Bug Salad
Children will enjoy creating their own edible ladybugs with cherry tomatoes, raisins and dates. Wash large cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Place a whole date on a plate for the body and half a date for the head. Tuck six raisins under the body for the legs. Cut a slit in the tomato half to form the wings and set it on the body with the wings spread slightly. Cut a raisin in half to make some spots to place on the red wings. Use carrot slivers for antenna. Poke holes in the head, the date half, and insert the antenna. Then let children enjoy a delicious, nutritious ladybug snack.
Transform air-dry modeling clay into a cute and functional ladybug pencil holder. Use red modeling clay to form a 5-inch ball and black modeling clay to make a 2-inch ball. Attach the two balls together, with the black one for the head, by creating a small, textured area in a cross-hatch pattern on each ball surface with a pencil tip. Then push the two balls together. Press the entire ladybug body against the work surface to flatten the bottom. Use the edge of a ruler to draw a line down the center of the red piece, the ladybug’s back, forming the wings. Make six ½-inch black clay balls, flatten them slightly, and press them into the red wing area to form spots. Push a pencil tip into each black spot to form the holes for holding pencils. The holes should be about 1 inch deep. Finally, use the pencil tip to draw eyes and a mouth on the ladybug’s head. Let the artwork dry for 24 hours.