The making of a mini beast (Primary One project)

Some people have called me ‘creative’ but when my son came home with a school project, I think I went a little too far. He was required to make a ‘mini beast’ from junk materials around the house. I immediately thought ‘tomatoes’. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. I’m like that sometimes – I hear a word, an idea and my brain instantly comes up with a matching solution. I start to run with this, sensible or not.

After much deliberations (and convincing my boy it was a good idea), we decided to make a ladybird out of tomatoes. It made sense! Tomatoes are red so all we’d need to do is make black circles on it. We would use straws as feet and some blu tack for eyes and mouth. Genius!

Excited at the coming together of the plan, we went to the shops and got:

  • Blu tack
  • Permanent black markers
  • Super Glue
  • Tomatoes

*We had straws at home.

You may have guessed by now that our attempt failed. How was I supposed to know that super glue won’t work on a tomato? And how was I to know that if tomatoes are cold (we put them in the fridge), the black markers just leave wet marks that never dry…

We waited and waited but the black circles were fading instead of drying! With heavy hearts, we had to dispose of the faceless tomato. Enter Plan B (I always have one of these – life saver).

I rummaged through my son’s toy box and found a small ball. I got some paper and asked him to colour it completely red. He loved contributing to this (It was turning into my project until this point). With the red paper complete, we made black circles and covered the small ball with it.  A little glue and tape created the beginning of a ladybird. Then we added eyes and a smiling face. The legs went on and Tada!!!!

Welcome Mr. LadyBird the Mini Beast. Cheers all round :).

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  1. I love it! It’s adorable.


  2. A good lesson for your son that sometimes you need to adapt and change the game plan to make things work.


  3. How old is your son? A lady where I used to work did an entire project for her daughter. It was a crocheted bag (made out of plastic bags). While it turned out really well, and the teacher loved it, I felt like she should have let her daughter do the project herself. What did she learn by mom doing it for her (they were supposed to do a recycling project).

    That said, of course kids need some assistance. Did your son think of the ladybug idea, or did you? Because I also think it’s a good idea to let them use their own imaginations. And yes, the ladybug turned out to be very cute. I just want to caution against doing a child’s work for him and letting them use their own imaginations. It might not turn out as well, but their sense of satisfaction will be much deeper. Sorry if I sounded preachy. I’m sure you’re a great mom. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents. I keep seeing this at work — mom’s who do their kid’s work. And frankly, it drives me crazy. My parents never did that — they assisted when asked, but we did all our own homework and I think you learn much more from doing your own work, is all.


    • Your point’s understood, Julee. And I agree. My son is 5. I honestly think at that age, he cannot single-handedly make a ‘mini beast’ without help. I suggested a few bugs to him e.g. ladybird (tomatoes), caterpillar (cucumber)…. I was in heavy vegetable mode that day.

      But it’s easy to get carried away. Your parents did the right thing. 🙂


      • I didn’t know his age, which is why I asked. Yeah, 5 is probably too young. I’m just concerned with (and baffled by) the new trend where parents do everything for their kids, including their homework. I don’t think it’s a good idea, personally.

        But at 5 I doubt he could have pulled it off by himself. You never know, though! You might have a little engineer or artist on your hands, who knows?!

        The vegetable idea is fun, and it never occurred to me that super glue and markers wouldn’t stick to vegetable skin. Who knew? I’ve learned something valuable, lol, in case I have the hankering to make my own vegetable bugs or sculptures or whatnot!


  4. Hahaha, great. You enjoyed doing this didn’t you ! 🙂


  5. I think you should make the ladybird some friends to play with :D.


  6. You know, it just occurred to me — you call them ladybirds and we (in the U.S.) call them ladybugs. Funny that I just realized that! Wonder why ladybird/ladybug. It really is a bug, not a bird!


    • Yeah, Google brings up the same insect regardless of the name I use so it appears to go by both names. And it never occurred to me- it’s not a bird!!! Odd.


  7. Echoes from the past says:

    The Ladybird Minibeast thing really looks cool. Cooler than some nightmares I use to have in MOA block A.005, about 12 years ago.


  8. I SO miss having small children in the house – one minute they’re pestering you to make mini-beasts, and the next they’re shaving and sitting the baccalaureat. Enjoy this time!


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