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Insect Symmetry

Image of a complete insect symmetry activity

By: Caroline Thrasher and Diana Sanchez 

Suggested for all ages (with grown-up help for early learners). 

Did you know that not all insects are bugs? But all bugs are insects! Insects are known for their three-part bodies (head, thorax, and abdomen) protected by a hard covering called an exoskeleton, two pairs of wings, three pairs of legs, and a pair of antennae. All “true bugs” share a lot of the same qualities as insects, but they have straw-shaped mouths called stylets to help suck juices from plants or blood from animals. Insects are also very symmetrical, which means that they have balanced proportions on each side of their body. 

Use one of our templates to make your very own symmetrical insect. 

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Insect Symmetry - materials for activity
List of Materials
  • Insect template: choose your insect and print it out at home. 
  • Paint (if you don’t have paint at home, a few drops of food coloring in water will work just like watercolor paint).
  • Paint brush
  • Additional materials: Insects can be decorated however you would like. If you’d rather color in your insect template or draw the other half of your insect, go for it! 
Step by Step Instructions (how-to)
Insect Symmery step 1 - fold template in half

1. Fold your paper in half  to create a crease on the page and then open it back up.

Insect Symmery step 2 - paint one side of template

2. Paint one side of the page, either coloring in one of our templates or painting your own favorite insect. (Note: Hot weather will dry the paint fast, so make sure to find a cool place and keep the paint on the paper wet!)

Insect Symmery step 3 - fold dry side of template over the painted side and press down

3. Once you’re done painting, fold the dry side of the paper over your painting, rub your hands over the paper, making sure all the paint gets transferred over.

Insect Symmery step 4 - unfold to reveal your symmetrical insect

4. Gently unfold the paper again. What do you see? An exact copy/mirror of your painting?

Insect Symmery step f - lay template flat to dry

5. Let your painting dry by laying it down flat.