Cardboard Bug Hotel

If you have empty boxes or recyclables laying around your house, this is a fun, engaging activity for you and your little one! It's also the perfect open-ended project to incorporate any ideas your blossoming future architect might have. Parents who homeschool can also use this for insect units or to work on building language skills with insect-loving kids! Projects like this are ideal for encouraging kids to use their imagination and work on building those pretend play skills.

  • Cardboard box
  • 4-5 paper towel rolls
  • Hot glue / glue gun
  • Moss / sticks / pinecones
  • Insect figurines
    1. Start by taking a box and gluing cut paper towel rolls to the bottom (or top). This is a great opportunity for kids to work on their fine motor hand and finger skills by using scissors to cut the rolls themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to work on social skills by offering their input into the project. Let kids select where they’d like to place their rolls while the adult wields the glue gun. 
    2. Glue a shelf over the rolls using a thin piece of cardboard, and then build a little roof by folding a cardboard flap in half and gluing the sides down.
    3. Use scrap cardboard pieces to make different compartments and then fill them with objects bugs would usually hide in such as pinecones, sticks, leaves and moss (use fake moss if it’s staying inside!). Note: if you use real pinecones and leaves from outside you might get real bugs in your hotel, so if it’s living inside with you use craft-based ones.
    4. Add insect figurines and your hotel is complete and ready for play or learning! For preschoolers, parents can use this activity to work on more complex and receptive language skills as they interact with the hotel, using prepositional phrases by prompting kids to place a specific bug:
      • In a roll 
      • Under a patch of moss
      • Behind a log

    Ten Little | Toddler & Kids' DIY Activities | Cardboard Bug Hotel


    Skills areas addressed: 
    • Fine motor skills
    • Expressive and receptive language
    • Imaginative play
    • Creativity 

    Author: Celena Kinsey