Pipe Cleaner Pencil Topper Ants

So, I kind of love the Usborne Phonics Readers. They are short and sweet, but oh so fun, and my children love them too. Even my kids who are absolutely beyond this stage of reading enjoy paging through these little paperbacks and giggling at the character’s antics.

For this month’s Story Corner, which had a theme of bugs, I’m using one of these fun books to accompany a simple craft. Underpants for Ants is the story of a group of ants left shivering in the cold because their bottoms are freezing in the winter air. When they meet Nan, a kind woman who knits, they find a resolution to their problem!

After reading the silly tale about ants who found a friend to knit them underpants to keep their bottoms warm, I decided to have my children make these easy pipe cleaner ant pencil toppers.

Pipe Cleaner Ant Pencil Toppers

These take just a few minutes to put together and a short glue drying period and then they are all ready!


  1. Take one pipe cleaner and wrap it tightly around the pencil starting just under the eraser and moving down the pencil. Once you get to the end of the pipe cleaner, get another one and do the same.
    pipe cleaner ants 1
  2. To make the head, take another pipe cleaner and curl it upon itself until you are about an inch and a half away from the end.
    pipe cleaner ants 2
  3. Wrap the head onto the pencil by using that tail to wrap around just under the eraser, in front of the first pipe cleaner.
    pipe cleaner ants 3pipe cleaner ants 4
  4. Cut three more pipe cleaners in half for the legs. Wrap each one around the body of the ant one time. If the legs are too long for your liking, you may trim them down. Then bend each leg down slightly.
    pipe cleaner ants 6pipe cleaner ants 7
  5. To add antennae, snip a small piece of pipe cleaner. Stick it through the top  loop of the spiral head and bend each side up.
    pipe cleaner ants 8
  6. Add some wiggly eyes with glue and allow to dry.  Sharpen your pencil and write away with you new ant pal tagging along. Two of my children decided to do one eyed alien ants.
    pipe cleaners 9

It is really easy, so even young preschoolers can do this one!

For more ant fun:

Ant Unit Study

Thanks for joining me for this month’s Story Corner! Make sure you check out the books and activities that my co-hosts are sharing today as well:

Janine at True Aim Education

Karyn at Teach Beside Me


story corner

*This book is an Usborne Phonics Reader title and can be purchased in my Bookworm’s Treehouse book shop. If you are interested in learning about Usborne and Kane Miller books or if you would like to host an online Facebook event to discuss how to raise readers and promote literacy in your home while earning FREe books for your own home library, please contact me by clicking the image below:

usborne contact



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