My daughter is absolutely fascinated by bugs. Last year when she asked for a bug themed birthday party I was told her we could have a garden party with ladybugs and butterflies. She quickly clarified she wanted a party full of creepy crawly bugs like hissing cockroaches, centipedes, and tarantulas. I told her we could save the creepy crawly party for the next year and we had a Fourth Birthday Art Party instead. This year when we started planning her fifth birthday party, she was quick to remind me that I had promised a bug party. Her creepy crawly birthday party was a blast!
The decorations were simple and pulled the creepy crawly party theme together. The party backdrop was made from landscape poster paper with a scene of green grass and blue sky. The grassy tablecloth was found at a party store and was meant for a soccer party theme. A handmade birthday banner and some photos of my daughter from our family holiday photos personalized the table.
I used leaf shapes and precut letters to make the birthday banner. I punched the edges of each leaf using a scalloped circle punch and then added bug stickers. Double sided tape secured the letters and then I stitched them together on my sewing machine. The contrasting colors made it challenging to select a thread color. I ended up using white thread and coloring over the area on the letters with a black marker. The banners were strung across the paper backdrop and secured with double sided tape.
The first decoration guests saw upon arriving at the party was a big creepy crawly wreath hanging on our front door.
Guests entered the party through a curtain of big bugs and other creepy crawlies. While planning the party my father-in-law gave me a big net he had previously used to keep leaves out of the pool. The netting created the perfect curtain to secure hanging creatures.
Giant blown up hanging bugs completed the creepy crawly party decorations. I plan to use the Learning Resources Inflatable Insects (affiliate link) to teach about insects in my preschool classroom and I’m sure my daughter will enjoy playing with them at home.
Our party was midday and we served pizza for lunch. In addition to pizza, I created a few bug themed treats. Instead of traditional ants on a log using celery and peanut butter, my version was made with pretzel sticks, chocolate, and bug sprinkles. The Wilton Bug Sprinkles (affiliate link) were available in our local craft store during Halloween.
I also made petri dish gummy worms in Jello. Although I’ve only seen these used for science themed parties, they were perfect for our creepy crawly party.
I planned to bake my own cupcakes but in a time saving decision, I ordered brown and green frosted cupcakes from our local grocery store bakery. I made ant and cockroach toppers with candy pieces. The ants were made with Milk Duds and cookie frosting.
I found tutorials for the cockroach toppers online using dates. Not thrilled about the main ingredient, I changed the recipe and made our cockroaches with Milky Way bodies, caramel wings, and chocolate covered raisin heads. They looked gross but were tasty!
I did not plan to have a cake at the party but after looking at amazing cockroach designs on Pinterest for a few hours, I changed my mind. A teacher I work with bakes cakes and did an amazing job creating a personal hissing cockroach cake for my daughter’s birthday candles. I couldn’t have been happier with the cake Christie created. It was so detailed and tasted fantastic. The cake was a great birthday surprise for my daughter.
Our entertainment for the party was a live show with Jungle Jill. We met Jill at the Everything Kids Fest last year and I knew I would be reaching out to her if we planned a creepy crawly birthday party. We had over 20 kids aged 4 to 6 at the party and Jill was fantastic at keeping their attention. She brought along some of her creepy crawlies and shared interesting facts while letting the children observe and touch. Her boa constrictor, Squeezer, was a favorite at the party.
My daughter has no fear of snakes and loved getting to hold Squeezer!
Each child at the party posed with their favorite creepy crawly for a picture from Jungle Jill. We posed for a quick family photo with a corn snake and hissing cockroaches.
Each guest went home with a Jelly Belly gummi pet cockroach. I made the thank you note from the same leaves used in the birthday banner. A “thank you” stamp and ribbon completed the creepy crawly party favors.
My daughter had the best time at her party. She was given two Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches as a gift from Jungle Jill. What a fun unexpected surprise! I am, in no way, as enthusiastic about bugs as my daughter but am thrilled she is interested in something with such great learning opportunities. She named her cockroaches Zoe and Zach and has proclaimed they are “THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!”
Creepy crawly headband in photo was made by hot gluing plastic bugs onto headband.
Thank you to everyone that helped us celebrate. A big thank you to Jungle Jill for the amazing party entertainment! This party was so much fun to plan and I had a great time watching all the little guests be so excited during the show!