Inside: An easy bat craft preschool children can make, plus a book recommendation to go with it.
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I have to admit, I used to be squeamish about bats. Then, on a family trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, we escaped the rain by attending a ranger talk on bats. It was really interesting!
My girls were 4 going on 5 at the time. I remember them sitting well and listening with interest as the ranger told us all kinds of non-scary facts about bats.
We learned that bats almost never bite humans. Actually, 70% of them eat insects – yay bats! I think the biggest reason people are afraid of them is that they fly at night. Plus, we have a lot of folklore in which they are evil.
Interesting aside – in some cultures bats have positive, or even sacred, associations.
Not that we don’t have some cute bat crafts and snacks too… I adore my friend Thena’s Oreo Bats, for instance. And there are quite a few preschool bat crafts that aren’t scary at all. Sometimes I think it’s only the adults who are scared of critters like bats. Kids are ready to embrace them.
UPDATE: You might also like these new fall leaf bat crafts here on the blog.
My Favorite Nonfiction Bat Book for Preschoolers
While it’s fun to bring out the bat crafts at Halloween time, it’s also a good excuse to teach children some facts about these important little animals.
With that in mind, I went looking for a nonfiction bat book that would be simple enough for preschoolers. After looking through several that seemed too complicated, I found the DK Readers book All About Bats (affiliate). This one is just right for 3-5-year-olds. It has bright and detailed photos with labels, and each page has just 2-3 short sentences.
Plus, if you want to introduce some features of nonfiction, this little book even has a table of contents, a little illustrated glossary, and an index.
Bat Craft Preschool Fine Motor Activity
This bat craft preschool fine motor activity is forgiving of little hands. It uses the same concept as our solar eclipse craft, but sort of in reverse. Preschoolers can color in the moon, and “magically” leave a silhouette of a bat flying in front of it.
Materials & Prep
- Black construction paper
- Bat stickers (NOT foam ones – or see below for a DIY version)
- Plastic lid or another circle-shaped template bigger than the bat sticker
- Chalk – yellow or white
- Clear sealant (optional)
- Googly eyes & glue
For the bat stickers, it’s important NOT to use foam stickers. You’ll need the sticker to be flush with the paper to get the chalk up close enough to the edges.
UPDATE – you should test how easily your stickers or labels are to pull back off the paper. Ours came off the paper pretty easily, but one reader has reported that hers didn’t. So check first!
RELATED: You could also adapt this paper plate Halloween cat craft with a glittery moon to be a bat craft instead. (Or use it as an additional activity!)
DIY Bat Stickers
I had trouble finding just the right stickers, and so I made my own.
First, I downloaded this bat for free. Then, I printed it out on a sheet of shipping labels using Microsoft Word.
In case you’re rusty on printing labels in Word, here’s how: click Mailings, then Labels. Then click Options and select the exact brand and item number of the labels you’re using (such as Avery 5163, etc.). Finally, click New Document, and then insert the image, and copy and paste it onto the space for each label.
Once you have your labels printed, cut out each bat using good sharp adult scissors.
I sure wish I had a Cricut machine! But really, this is a task you could do in front of the tv, or even one by one with the kids watching – so it’s not so bad.
Bat Craft Instructions
You can differentiate the fine motor aspect of this bat craft preschool activity to meet individual student abilities. For instance, some children will be able to do each step independently, while others will prefer to start with the first 3 steps already done for them. Very young children may want to jump in at step 5.
Make the Moon
1. Begin by placing a bat sticker on black construction paper. Make sure the edges are all stuck down well.
2. Next, place a plastic lid over the bat. This will be the moon.
3. Holding the lid firmly, trace around the outside as shown. Little mess ups are no big deal because you’ll be smearing it all soon anyway.
Fill in the Moon and Make it Glow
4. Then, remove the lid and color in the circle and on top of the sticker. Make sure you get the edges of the bat. Don’t worry if the kids color outside the lines a little.
5. Now, after the kids have completely colored in their moons, they can create the glow around it: just use a finger to rub the chalk from inside the circle outward. Once they’re done, have them wash all the chalk dust off their hands so that they don’t accidentally leave smudges on their artwork.
Reveal the Bat Silhouette
6. Next, take the paper over to the trash can and blow all the excess chalk dust off.
7. If you want to seal the chalk from smearing, spray it with a thin coat of clear acrylic sealer spray. (Or, I’ve heard that hairspray will work, but I didn’t try that.) Note that the chalk will kind of disappear while it’s wet, but then reappear again as it dries, so don’t panic!
8. Now for the big reveal! Gently peel the sticker up. Ta-da!
9. Finally, add googly eyes if you like. I always like! Oversized ones look the cutest if you ask me.
Show Them Off!
These would look adorable hung on a bulletin board or hallway display, along with some facts that the kids have learned about bats.
We’re going to hang ours up behind our little Halloween pumpkin display. Now that we know that bats really aren’t too scary, they’ll fit right in with the friendly decorations we’re planning have this year.