Make an Edible Bug Contest at the fair…

The Linn County Fair in Central City, IA is Ridin’, Rockin’, and Livestockin’ this year with a lot of new activities throughout the week. One of those new activities this year is the Make an Edible Bug Contest. Children ages 10 and under must construct a bug using edible materials and then bring it to the Science Tent on Thursday, June 28, 2012.

There will be three age classes: 5 years old and under, 6 & 7 years old, and 8-10 years old.  Each age class will have three different categories:  Fruit & Vegetables, Candy and Pastry, and other.

Insect related prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each of the three categories for each age class (total of 27 prizes!).

The first 100 participants will receive a Bug Coloring Book from the Linn County Fair Association and our generous sponsor of this contest – Certified Pest Control.

 How do you make an edible bug, you ask? The judge will ask you what kind of bug you made so first you must decide which kind of bug you would like to construct – spider, bee, ant, butterfly, etc. Get a picture or drawing that you can look at while you are building this bug. Next decide which medium you would like to work with. Let us start with the first category:

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES  You should use fresh, firm fruits and vegetables. You can use toothpicks to help keep sections “glued” together, but be sure that the toothpick isn’t visible. Bamboo skewers, also work well. They are thicker, longer, and stronger than regular toothpicks. Some assistance from Mom or Dad is okay, but the child entering the contest should do the majority of the work.

Think of the shapes of the fruit/vegetable and decide which to use for the body – such as potatoes, onions, squash, cucumber, apple, orange, melon, etc. Next think of things to use for eyes like berries, radishes, peas, etc.  And what would work for legs? Maybe beans, pea pods, celery, carrots, or orange rind. Below are a few samples of bugs made with fruits/vegetables. 

This ant is made from a radish.

This praying mantis is made from pea pods.

 The next category is CANDY AND PASTRY.  Again you start with your picture and think of things that will work for the body.  Twinkies, Snowballs, cookies or cupcakes would work great for bug bodies.  Marshmallows, gumdrops, or M&M type candies would make great eyes or spots on a ladybug.  And licorice sticks or whips would work well for antennae and legs. For glue, mix a little water with powdered sugar and it becomes quite hard when it dries. Toothpicks can be used, but be sure to hide them from view. Below are few examples in this category.

          A cake decorated like a ladybug.

      Cookies, marshmallows, gumdrops and candy make these bugs.

 The last category is called OTHER – any other food you can use. This would include bread, crackers, pretzels, pasta, meat, pickles, etc.  Peanut butter makes a great “glue” for these types of construction materials. Below are some examples in this category.

A bug sandwich!

Pasta butterflies

Crackers, pretzels, celery and raisins used here.

 Each participant can only enter one bug. It should be displayed on a plate or piece of cardboard no bigger than 10” x 10”. Each entry must include a 3” x 5” card that states what kind of bug it is and what food was used to construct it.  The entry will be judged on overall appearance and creativity. After the competition is over, you can either eat your entry or take it home with you.

The Make An Edible Bug Contest will be the first of three contests for children held during our Youth Day activities. For more information and registration form go to our website or


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Filed under 2012 Fair, Open Classes

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