Things You'll Need
Crayons, markers and/or paint (optional)
Ruler or tape measure
Plastic soda bottle cap or cotton balls
Pulpy fruit (optional)
Pebbles, twigs, fresh grass and sand (optional)
Keeping a cricket as a pet and creating its habitat can be a rewarding kids’ craft. In fact, according to Chinese lore, crickets bring good fortune. Chinese children still catch the vocal critters and keep them as pets. With a few simple supplies, one can build a cricket cage suitable for a king.
Cut cardboard into two 4 by 4-inch pieces. Decorate one side of each piece with crayons, markers and paint, if desired. Let marker and/or paint dry before proceeding with the cricket cage.
Take one piece of cardboard and set it on a flat surface, with the blank side down. Line the cricket cage perimeter with toothpicks, about 1/2-centimeter inside the cardboard's length and width. Leave 1/2-centimeter of space between the toothpicks, which should be in alignment with each other as closely as possible.
Create a cricket cage habitat. Crickets like warm, moist places. The best place to keep the cricket cage for the child to watch is under a sunny window, but beware not to let the insect bake in the sun and dry out. Include a bottle cap from a 20-ounce soda bottle filled with water or a soaked cotton ball. Crickets love fish food. Swap out food and water every day. Sand, twigs, pebbles and fresh grass may be added to enhance the habitat. Crickets also love to hide, so challenge kids to create hiding places. Crickets also like fruits with pulp.
Take a second piece of cardboard and place it atop the toothpick perimeter. One at a time, puncture the toothpicks through what will be the roof of the cage. Make sure toothpicks are securely in place before proceeding with the cricket cage.
Take the remaining toothpicks and affix them in between the existing toothpick perimeter. It may take more than one toothpick per interval. Just make sure the toothpicks are tight enough so that the cricket cannot escape. Leave a gap open in the front. This will be the entryway for the cricket cage. Close it up with toothpicks after the cricket is safely secured. Remove a toothpick or two from this entryway to include food for your little critter, but be sure he doesn't escape.
Cricket cages come in all sizes and shapes, and this is one of many ways to make one. Other methods include using a flower pot and mesh wire, or using a milk jug. Experiment with different supplies, have fun and be creative in coming up with your own cricket cage style.