Make a dragonfly out of a stick for some simple twig crafting fun! This easy dragonfly craft is a great nature activity for kids of all ages. Using just some sticks, paint, and scraps of fabric, we made beautiful dragonflies and damselflies, and found out about these amazing creatures at the same time.
Dragonflies and damsel flies are one of my favourite nature sightings of the summer. Their impressive size and brilliant colours makes them easy to identify and fun to watch. In the UK, you are most likely to see dragonflies and damselflies between May and August. Like other insects, they are cold-blooded and so will be more active on warm days, when you’ll also frequently find them sunbathing!
Easy dragonfly craft for kids
This simple activity doesn’t require a lot of instructions as all you are really doing is tying some netting in a couple of bows, painting a twig and sticking on some eyes.
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Materials needed to make stick dragonflies
- A twig
- Some scraps of fabric, ribbon, or tissue paper
- Colourful paint
- Some pictures of real dragonflies for reference
Twig dragonfly instructions
Our first task was to find a nice stick that we could use for the body of our dragonflies and damselflies (the main difference between dragonflies and damselflies is that damselflies tend to be smaller and thinner).
Once you have found a good stick to use, you can either start to paint it or, if you are doing this activity outside, add the wings first so you have something to hold on to.
If you are doing this craft at home, I would paint the stick first and then tie the wings on once the paint is dry. And a lot of the children at the forest school session I did this in also decided that this was the better way. Paint the stick then tie the bow. Alas, many of them skipped the bit about waiting for it to dry, but their dragonflies still looked beautiful!
Give your stick dragonfly wings
I happened to have a load of scraps of colourful tulle left over from making Alice in Wonderland bunting a few years ago. While this was perfect for dragonfly wings, you could just as easily use scraps of other fabric, ribbons, or even something like tissue paper or crepe paper.
Tying on the bows is just like doing your shoelaces, and so it makes good knot-tying practice for the kids. You can always help them with this bit if they haven’t quite mastered that skill yet though.
I found it easier to cut two separate lengths of tulle to make two bows, and the kids found it easier if we knotted the tulle firmly around the stick before trying to do the bows.
Add some eyes onto your twig dragonfly
The finishing touch for your stick dragonfly is a pair of large eyes. Did you know that dragonflies have some of the largest eyes in the insect kingdom? So big that they cover nearly the whole of a dragonfly’s head, and give them almost 360 degree vision. They can also see in many more colours than humans.
So don’t go small when looking for things to use for eyes. As there wasn’t much around on my site when I did this with the kids at forest school, I brought along some pompoms as a bit of a (very much not forest school) cheat. If we’d had more land to roam, we might have used plane tree seeds, rosehips or even conkers. Some of the kids did make clay balls. Those worked really well as they were able to print patterns on to look like a dragonfly’s compound eyes.
Here’s a little gallery of some of the kids’ dragonflies. We had great fun making them, and we learned all about dragonflies while doing so. If you make some twig dragonflies of your own, be sure to let me know as I’d love to see how they turn out.
More like this dragonfly craft from Rhubarb and Wren
Looking for more fun things to make and do with the kids? Check out these great activities from Rhubarb and Wren!
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