Insect – Cricket Chirping/Musical Sticks (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , August 31, 2008 9:08 pm

My stepmother, who always enjoys our projects, recently sent my children a subscription to Family Fun magazine because she thought they might find some fun ideas there. Well, we did find an idea that sounded pretty cool for this week’s insect Unplugged Project: Cricket Chirpers.

Supplies:  1/2″ wooden beads, wooden skewers, and glue (the article called for “tacky glue” but not being crafty enough to know what that was, I used carpenter’s wood glue):

First, as suggested by the magazine, I cut the pointy ends off the skewers to reduce the chance of injury.

Next, the children threaded 15 beads onto the skewers in any pattern they wished.

My 2 year-old had fun threading beads too.  For her, I stuck a lump of playdough onto one end of the skewer so she wouldn’t get frustrated by beads falling off:

She eventually tired of threading and unthreading beads and branched out into sticking the beads onto the lump of playdough:

This turned into an all-out playdough session (one of her favorite things):

After each child had made two sticks, I glued the two end beads with the carpenter’s glue.  It turned out to be a bit fiddly and messy, so I think it was a good thing that I decided to do this step myself.

We let the glue dry for several hours, and this was the result:

When rubbed together, the sticks are supposed to sound like crickets. Well, they didn’t sound much like crickets to me. My husband agreed. I thought maybe they sounded more like cicadas on a night full of general, random insect noises. I asked my husband…he closed his eyes, concentrated, and said…”No.”

They do however make cool instruments to add to any musical instrument collection. Sorry about the crickets though.

Why don’t you try it (very easy project) and let me know what you think!


What did you do this week for the Unplugged Project theme of insect?  If you did an insect project this week, then please put a link to your project in Mr. Linky.

A few linking pointers:

  • It is best if you link to the actual project post, not just your blog in general, that way people will always be able to find your specific project easily.
  • Also, if you did not do the project, please don’t link.  Mr. Linky is for project participants only, not for general links to blogs or stores, etc.
  • Finally, I have decided that I will leave a Mr. Linky open for only two weeks.  After two weeks I will disable it so that no new links can be added, but all the existing links can still be followed.  This will give everyone two weeks to add their link, but will guard against spam links being added to old Linkys that I no longer monitor.


The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project will be:


Have fun!

21 Responses to “Insect – Cricket Chirping/Musical Sticks (Weekly Unplugged Project)”

  1. Ashley says:

    These look really fun. It’s a bummer they didn’t work out perfectly. But still fun, and if they make any noise at all my girls would be thrilled:)

    Ashleys last blog post..Unplugged Project~Insect

  2. Nature Mama says:

    Neat project even if they don’t sound like crickets *grin*. They would make interesting musical instruments for them to play with!

    Nature Mamas last blog post..Playing Cards

  3. […] have taken a more scholarly aproach to this week’s Unplug your Kid’s challenge of Insect. Well, I didn’t. We went very girly girl and created a button and ribbon […]

  4. Fun instruments! We’ll have to make some to add to our collection. Lots of tourist spots in Taiwan sell little wooden frogs that have spikey backs. When you rub a stick along them it makes the cricket sound. We didn’t buy a traditional frog though, ours is a pig!

    Julie K in Taiwans last blog post..Insect Button & Ribbon Necklace

  5. Michelle says:

    Your cricket sticks turned out really cool looking, too bad they don’t sound like crickets. Cool instruments either way. My girls love hiding beads and things in their play dough too.

    Michelles last blog post..Insects (Unplugged Weekly Challenge)

  6. The Mommy says:

    I love this idea. Mostly because I’ve been looking for a “bead stringing” activity for my 2 year old, and making a musical instrument is a wicked fun thing to do with any child.

  7. Christie says:

    This looks like a lot of fun and we have a special place in our hearts for most any instrument. Gotta do it!

    Christies last blog post..CAB 12

  8. Lisa says:

    Great project, and they are beautiful too! I love the first “action” shot! Looks like out of a magazine.

    Lisas last blog post..Horse Lubber

  9. Stacey says:

    Sounds like a fun project! Love the sight by the way…how cool to find other mom’s with no TVs in their households!

  10. Alicia says:

    This was our first week participating and we had lots of fun with our project. We made mix and match insects after researching what different parts were for (like this mouth is for chewing). We also released monarch butterflies that we raised from milkweed in the yard that I suppose could count too. I didn’t link that one but it’s here: (I linked our craft when I signed above).

    My kids can’t wait to do the next challenge. Thanks again!

    Alicias last blog post..10 things…

  11. Expat Yelli says:

    More cool projects. My son loves anything that makes noise so I am sure that he will love this! Now if only I knew where to get beads in Germany…

    Expat Yellis last blog post..I was trying…

  12. My girls and I have been participating in weekly challenges on HarmonyArtMom, NatureStudy, and Unplugyourkids. We thought it might be fun to have a weekly challenge of our own, so we started a new blog: Think! . We will post weekly thinking challenges that should be completed in 5 minutes or less. We hope you’ll join us there! The address is

    exploreacademys last blog post..Fun for Fellow Bloggers

  13. […] Craft idea:  Cricket Chirping Sticks: […]

  14. damien says:

    love it

  15. Jamie says:

    Hello: This is an odd comment, but I am a product label researcher doing some work on Elmer’s Wood Glue and other popular label household products. I stumbled onto this page by Internet searching. I note your project photos shows an older (yellow when full) bottle and label for the Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue. I have been trying to find an older example to keep for the archives, ….since Elmer’s has recently completely restyled their current labels and bottles to a solid orange plastic design. —- If the old bottle in these photos still exists, ….or if anyone has older Elmer’s Wood glue bottles like this, or similar, I will pay $20 each. Thanks, Jamie

  16. i have some old elmer’s carpenter wood glue but don’t see how to reach you jamie.

    exploreacademys last blog post..Spent An Hour Rescuing Ducklings From Pool

  17. Christie says:

    We also have one of the gallon size if you are interested.

    Christies last blog post..Prom Fever

  18. Elizabeth says:

    Hi there — I love these sticks! I teach music classes in Ky, and we needed a craft for our Nature themed summer camp. These were perfect. They turned out so beautifully, and even the two year olds could do them. We did use hot glue for the sake of efficiency. Thanks so much for sharing!
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Think outside the box! =-.

  19. Staci says:

    Just a suggestion, running a plain bamboo stick over the beaded one may achieve the more desired “cricket-like” sound (similar to those little wooden frogs that you run a rod over it’s back to make a chirping sound). Not sure, but I’m going to try it out!

  20. Teresa says:

    I can’t see the pictures of this post, is there a reason for that?

  21. Mom Unplugged says:

    Yes, unfortunately my Picasa web album with ALL my blog photos was accidentally deleted. It was a tragedy! I am slowly trying to find the pictures on my computers at home and repost them. Sorry for any inconvenience.

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