Yesterday we observed our annual cicadas and got a little crafty by making our own singing cicadas. Cicadas come in many different colors (there’s about 2500 different species) so do a little research to see the kind that lives in your backyard.
What you need: cardboard tubes, sand, brown and green paint, beads (the bigger the better), 12″ piece of twine, stapler, glue, go on a walk outdoors to let the children find items for the wings and eyes
1. Add a pinch of sand to the brown paint for texture then paint the tube, let dry then add green details.
2. While drying, string 7 or 8 beads onto the twine. Feed one end of the twine through the tube, meet up with the other end and tie a knot so the beads are taute on the outside of the tube.
Here’s the assembled noisemaker part of the cicada. You could add a rubber band about an inch from the top to hold the string and knot in place if it keeps coming loose.
3. Go on a hunt outside for items that would make fine wings and eyes for the cicada. The Little Ladies used pokeweed berries for the eyes and cherry leaves and lambsear for the wings. Staple the wings on, glue on the eyes. Now you have a singing cicada to sing with the males in the trees! The ladies had fun trying to mimic the sound of these cool singing insects.
Here’s our model for the project, the Tibicen linnei. I just LOVE their glassy wings and find them quite beautiful in their own way!