Saturday, April 16, 2011

Paper Plate Venus Flytrap Craft

Gnats have invaded our windowsill garden, but no matter - the children spotted the perfect solution to the problem, while we were grocery shopping today.

I would have rather purchased one of the Easter lilies from the super market floral section, but I figured the children would get a bigger kick out of the Venus Flytrap.

After all, I had one myself, back in the '70s, ordered I'm sure, from the back of the same comic book, where I found the Magic Rocks, and Sea Monkeys. But, I realized after we got our new "pet" home, that despite my childhood experience with the plant, I don't actually know that much about them.

Needless to say, I went directly our library website to put a few books on hold. Our local library didn't have any on the shelf, so we'll have to wait until next week, for the books to arrive in from partner libraries. In the meantime, we watched a few video clips, like this one, with David Attenborough, or this one, called "Jaws of Death", from the BBC (a little over the top, but fun).

We also did some quick research, and learned, that despite the fact the Mom of the House, gleefully poked one of the leafy jaws with a pencil, in order to make it snap closed - this is not a good idea. Apparently, the leaves will only close so many times before they are done completely.

So, in order to occupy little hands, and keep our new friend from being poked to death, I decided a craft was in order. We found just the thing at No Time For Flashcards via Just Playin' Around, which we modified to make into a paper plate puppet.

I gave each child two paper plates. They colored the inside of one plate pink, and light green, like the inside of the flytrap's jaws.

The back side of the second plate was colored dark green.

Then, that plate was folded, and cut in half, an inch or so in from the fold... the pieces could be glued, pocket style, to the back of the first plate...

...which was partially colored green, to fill in the gap.

Then, we folded the plates, and fringed the edges...

...folding up one section, and cutting two, around to the staples... create the proper trap effect.

Of course, a plants gotta eat, so we made some flies... sewing two pom-poms together...

...and stitching the thread back through to the middle... stitch on mini muffin cup wings...

...securing them with glue, and gluing on eyes (nice large eyes).

Even so, they never saw the trap coming.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


  1. What a cute craft! I love that last picture!

  2. My kids would LOVE a venus flytrap! I'll have to keep my eyes open for one.

    I probably would have poked it too. I didn't know that about the leaves.

    I remember seeing this craft before - fun! I love the addition of the flies.

  3. I like the Flytrap, but I adore those flies...oh, my -they are cute!

  4. I love the flies! Those are too cute!

  5. Those are the cutest flies EVER! My husband went through a "plant phase" and bought a Venus fly trap but he loved seeing it close so much he overfed it!

  6. I love the flies even more than the trap. How nice that you will have your own venus trap - I find them rather fascinating.

  7. such a great craft and game! love the creativity. so adorable!
    i may have to use this for a poetry craft we have coming up. i'll be sure to link back if i do!

  8. Great craft idea for the Venus fly trap. I just taught my preschoolers about carnivorous plants and I am now actively searching for a live plant. It would be great since we tend to get lots of pesky flies and other bugs in our home once summer arrives. I think each set of leaves only opens about 7 times before they become inactive. Then the plant relies on its other leaves to do the trapping.