Turn an Upcycled Carton into a Backyard Bug City

Upcycled Craft: Bug City

Turn an Upcycled Carton into a Backyard Bug City

Looking for a fun summer activity for your child that will get them outdoors and thinking creatively? Try constructing a Bug City using an upcycled milk or juice crate and natural supplies from your yard or the park.


  • Empty milk or juice carton
  • Scissors (grown-up use only)
  • Natural supplies: Rocks, leaves, sticks, grass and flowers
  • Empty cardboard tube
  • Index card or small piece of cardboard
  • Nontoxic markers


  • Wash carton with soap and water.
  • Grown-up step: Cut out one side of the carton.
  • Collect natural items from outside. Make sure a grown-up is present to supervise and watch out for choking hazards, such as small rocks for children younger than 3.
  • Have your child design the Bug City by arranging natural items and the cardboard tube inside.
  • Decorate a cardboard Bug City sign (or Bug Hotel, Bug Playground, etc.) using markers.
  • Put your Bug City in your backyard or on a balcony or patio.

Once your Bug City is in place, encourage your child to peek in each day to see if any bugs are making use of your hospitality! (As usual, you’ll want a grown-up around to prevent bites or stings.)

Your child can redesign their Bug City whenever they like — just be sure not to disturb any guests who might be inside.

For more fun and easy outdoor crafts, check out:

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