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Curve Learning Inspired by Nature

Make Your Own
Ladybird Puppet

This simple puppet can be made easily with things you can find at home. If you don’t have a particular item from the materials and equipment list below, you can easily substitute something else.

We would love to see photos of your Ladybird puppets so we can share them on our website! You can email them to us at curvelearning@dalstongarden.org We can’t wait to see your creations!

What you will need

• Glue stick or PVA glue or sticky tape or masking tape
A stapler  – this is not essential, but really handy
• Scissors
Pencils or Pens – a light coloured pencil is useful for drawing on black card
2 paper plates – smaller ones are good for little hands. If you don’t have plates, you can simply draw around a small plate onto some thin card, like cereal box card and make two circles.
Red tissue paper, or red crayons/pens/paint or old wrapping paper or old magazines
Black paper or card (or just black pens/crayons to colour white paper)
Small piece of white paper / google eyes / dot stickers

How to make your puppet

  1. Put your two paper plates together with the bottom of the plates facing outwards. Use your stapler, or tape or glue, to stick the plates together, leaving a small section open. If using a cereal box card or similar, fix them together so that the plainer side of the card is facing outwards. This makes it easier to cover or colour.
  1. Use your scissors to cut straight across the joined plates where you left the small section open, so that you have a flat edge on one side of the circle. This opening is where your hand will slide in.
  1. Now you need to cover or colour the plates to make both sides red. You can do this with your glue stick and tissue paper or any red paper you can find, or you can simply colour your ladybird with red crayons, pens or paint.
  1. Next it’s time to give your ladybird some spots! The spots are actually on the ladybird’s wings.  First ,make a black line, either with a pen or with a thin strip of black paper from the middle of the straight open edge all the way up to the top. This gives the impression of 2 wings.
  1. Next, cut out some black spots, or draw some on.  The pattern is symmetrical (the same on each side). Try to give your ladybird symmetrical spots too! I like to fold my black paper in half and then cut  out circles. That way I get pairs of circles that match – one for each wing. 

Did you know Ladybirds can have any number of spots,
but they always have  the same number of spots on each wing.

  1. Once the spots are done, you need to make legs. Ladybirds are a type of insect and all insects have 6 legs! Again, I fold my black paper in half, draw 3 leg shapes on it, then cut them out. This gives me ‘pairs of legs’ which I can snip in the middle. Use your stapler, glue or tape to fix the legs on to the underside of your Ladybird puppet. There should be 3 legs on each side. 
  1. Now we need to give our Ladybird a head. You will need a semi-circle of black card, or you can just colour it black. I sometimes draw around the roll of  sticky tape and that gives me a good shape. Cut out and glue or staple the head to the top curved edge of the puppet. We are almost done!
  1. All that’s left is to give your ladybird a little face. You can cut out some eyes or stick on some google eyes if you want. Even give your Ladybird a little mouth if you like, or if you want your ladybird to look realistic, have a look at a picture of a real ladybird (perhaps you can find one online?) and see if you can copy the markings. 
  1. That’s it – your ladybird puppet is complete!  Now you can slip your hand in and take it for a crawl around your house or outside. Perhaps you could put on a puppet show or tell a story with your Ladybird? Some Ladybird stories we like are What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson and The Bad Tempered Ladybird by the wonderful Eric Carle. Perhaps you have one of those books at home or can find a video on YouTube. 

Have fun!

Lots of Ladybird Facts

  • A Ladybird is a type of beetle.
  • They come in many different colours and can have different patterns
  • Some Ladybirds don’t even have any spots. 
  • If they do have spots, their spots are symmetrical on each side of the wings. They have the same number on each side, but they might have one odd spot which can span both wings.
  • How many legs do ladybirds have? Just like all insects, they have 6 legs! Insects are just one type of minibeast, there are many more and they have different numbers of legs  – e.g. spiders have 8 legs, centipedes and millipedes have very many legs, and slugs and snails have just one big foot!
  • Ladybirds hibernate through the cold weather. They find a dark place to hide away, usually with lots of other ladybirds and sleep until the warmer weather begins.
  • Ladybirds undergo metamorphosis (a transformation that some other creatures go though, such as when caterpillars turn into butterflies. They start off as a larvae which looks quite different to a grown up Ladybird. They shed their exoskeleton many times as they grow and then finally emerge as an adult Ladybird
  • What do ladybirds eat? They love to eat Greenfly or Aphids. Aphids eat plants, so Ladybirds are actually helpful for gardeners!
  • Ladybirds have been into space! They didn’t fly there though, they were taken up in a rocket to help with scientific research!

© Laura Halliwell for Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, 2020