A simple, rainy day project for bored kids to make is a pipe cleaner dragonfly. Even young children can make this simple craft. Once they learn the technique, kids can change sizes and colors to make a whole assortment of these cute little creatures.
Choose pipe cleaners of an appropriate size. Elementary school children and preteens can use any size 6 inches and up. Preschoolers have less dexterity and need at least 12-inch long pipe cleaners for this craft.
Bend a black pipe cleaner into a tight "U" shape. There must be ½ inch to 1 inch of space between the 2 halves.
Curve the 2 tips outward. These will become antennae. If desired, add an extra tight curl on each end.
Wrap a brightly-colored pipe cleaner repeatedly around the black one, starting 1/3 of the way up from the bend. This forms the dragonfly's body.
Use 2 black pipe cleaners to form the wings. Make a large loop on each side of the colored body for the large set, and make smaller loops just in front of the colored pipe cleaner, near the antennae. Attach both sets of wings by looping them through the body. If necessary, draw the loops out as dragonflies have long, narrow wings.
Create the head by wrapping a black pipe cleaner around the base 3 times. Place it above the small wings and below the antennae.
Pattern tissue paper wings using each wing loop as a template. Glue the cutouts to the wings. This makes the project more real looking and also adds color.
Experiment with different sizes and colors to create your own dragonfly colony.