Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Egg Carton Ants

I have a bunch of egg cartons.  Like a lot.  I save them and have lots of donated egg cartons.  I had been saving and saving them but didn't know what I wanted to use them for.  The specials teachers at one of my schools are in charge of organizing the baked potato lunch this Friday for Teacher Appreciation Week and our librarian thought of a picnic theme.  They were talking about decorations so I said I could have one of my Kindergarten classes make ants.  I needed a one day project to get everything straightened out after the schedule changed so it worked out really well.

At the beginning of the class, I asked the students what they know about ants.  The Kindergarten science curriculum starts to talk about insects, mammals, etc. so they were happy to tell me all about the 6 legs and 3 body parts as well as ant-specific things.  I had pre-painted and pre-cut* the egg cartons so I gave each student a 3 section piece that was already brown.  I showed them how they could cut strips of paper and glue them to make legs.  I stressed pinching the paper to the egg carton for a few seconds to make sure the liquid glue would stick.  I let them add any details they wanted with scrap construction paper and crayons.  We even used the circles of paper out of the hole punch for eyes.  I really like how they all have personality.  Even my 3rd grade students who saw the ants drying asked if they would get to make them!

*Is there some magic trick to cutting egg cartons?  I had a really hard time.  I ended up using a paintbrush to apply water to the cardboard cartons where I wanted to cut and letting it soak through a couple times to make it a little easier.  I also had better luck with short scissors than my bigger pair.  It was time consuming.  Any tips you would like to share?

I didn't want to use a plain background for the photographs and luckily I remembered seeing this table cloth in the teacher's lounge!  I thought it looked picnic-y and decided to give it a try.  I wrote the students' names on small pieces of paper and put them off to the side so that I could crop out the name when I published the work on Artsonia.


  1. These are cute! We've done these with pipe cleaner legs too! I like the paper ideas too! I'm doing a posting on ants and this will go perfect with it! When I cut egg cartons I use heavy duty scissors!

  2. Here are our ants:
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    You have a Great list of Art blogs!!!!