- Red and black balloons and streamers
- Add black spots to red balloons with permanent magic marker
- Make ladybug headbands using plastic headbands (can be purchased cheaply at the dollar store), pipe cleaners and pom-poms.
- Lady Bug Toss Game - make a giant felt (or paper) lady bug and glue large strips of velcro on the spots. Using sponge balls, try to hit the spots and have the balls stick to the velcro. You can even award different spots value points.
- Ladybug Key Chain or Zipper Clip.
- Lady Bug spot Match: Cut out enough ladybugs for each child. Place them in pairs according to the number of spots you draw on each bug, place ladybugs on the backs of children without them seeing how many spots their ladybug has, they must find their ladybug match.
- Spot the Ladybug Game: Make a large bug collage on a giant piece of paper. Hang it on the wall and have the children find all the ladybugs.
- Ladybug Beanies: Pre-sew ladybug shapes from red felt, leave an opening at the bottom. The children can decorate their beanies with felt spots, googly eyes, glitter glue, buttons, whatever you put out. Then fill with beans and sew the opening closed.
- Ladybug Guessing Game: fill a small jar (baby food jar works well) with red and black jelly beans or jube-jubes. Have the children write their guesses on pieces of paper and insert the guesses into a ladybugs mouth (cutout from construction paper) Once everyone has made a guess, open the guesses up and read them out loud... announce the winner - the person who was the closest to the actual amount of candies in the jar. The winner gets to receive the prize and then share it with his/her friends. Another possibility is to attach a first prize ribbon to the winner's jar and they keep that one and pass out additional jars to their friends to also take home. These treats can be added to the loot bags!
- Ladybug, Ladybug Fly away home: this is the coolest part of the party
- Finally, purchase live ladybugs to release at the end of the party. Children can use their magnifying glasses from their loot bags
to observe the ladybugs. If you have bug keepers in their loot bags, the children can take one home and release it in their own garden!
In Mississauga, Ontario - Canada, live ladybugs can be purchased at:
- Ladybug Pizza: with pepperoni spots, mushroom eyes and green pepper antennae. You can have the children make their own individual pizzas using pita bread or English muffins or make one large lady bug pizza.
- Ladybug Apples: cut red apples in 1/2 and decorate to look like a ladybug.
- Buffet of red foods: some ideas for the table are strawberries, raspberries, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, open faced peanut butter and jam sandwiches, etc.
- Cake: Cupcakes work great for this as you can make individual ladybugs. Ice cupcakes with red icing and add chocolate chip spots. The wings can be made by piping melted chocolate or using black licorice - same for the antennae. You can make one large ladybug, but it looks cuter to have a lot of little ones. That way, everyone gets the same amount of candies on their piece too!
This is where planning ahead REALLY pays off! Visit Party stores and dollar stores frequently and purchase items that relate to your theme for the loot bags. This is one of the most enjoyable part of planning the party and the best part... you get to be there and watch the children's faces when they receive your awesome theme-based loot bags! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Bug Keepers
- Magnifying Glasses
- Black and red pencils
- Ladybug beanies (purchase or make as a craft project)
- Bug stickers
- Plastic ladybugs
- Ladybug pins
- Red and Black Jelly Beans or Jube-Jubes (from the guessing game)