These coffee filter bats have flown their way into our favorite fall activities for preschoolers! They are great for a preschool animals theme or a nocturnal creatures theme. They’re also the perfect addition to your list of Halloween activities for preschoolers.
Coffee Filter Bats
Coffee filter art is definitely a classic for kids. It seems to be a universal hit and my kids always love it! I appreciate how it’s a combination of a craft and a process art project – at least in my head!
There’s definitely a desired end result, like a craft has. But there’s also an imaginative, creative side that only focuses on exploring the process. For the bat craft, this is when the kids are coloring and spraying the coffee filters to make the bats’ wings.
No matter what, rest assured that your kids are learning a ton as they create their adorable bats!
Bat Craft Materials
Here are the items we used to make our coffee filter bats (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post). You can make adjustments as you see fit, of course.
- Large coffee filters
- Markers in fall/Halloween colors (we used orange, yellow, black, and purple)
- White crayons
- Spray bottle with water
- Black pipe cleaners
- Googly eyes
- Black construction paper
Related: Bat Counting Book
How to Make Coffee Filter Bats
First, set out the materials the children will need. Place a piece of white construction paper or a paper towel on the table for each child, then lay out a coffee filter on top of each. Set out the markers – we used black, purple, yellow, and orange.
You’ll also cut the bat bodies out of construction paper. You can do this while the kids color the coffee filters if you haven’t had time before that! They don’t need to be fancy, just a black body with a head and ears. Your students can definitely do this part, too.
Then invite the kids to participate! They will first make the bat’s wings with the coffee filter. Encourage the kiddos to color it in using the markers. This is the time where their creativity can shine! Some children will use all of the colors, while others may stick with just one or two. Some children will completely cover the filter, while others will have a more minimalistic approach.
Related: Bat Sensory Bins
Once it’s colored to their satisfaction, the students can spray water all over their coffee filters. Here’s where you’re glad you put a paper towel down to absorb the extra water! The colors on the coffee filter bleed into each other, creating some beautiful effects.
Related: Coffee Filter Jack-O-Lanterns
After they’re saturated, it’s time to put the coffee filters aside to dry. Make sure they’re completely dry before you use them again!
While the filters dry, the kids can work on the bodies for their coffee filter bats. They use white crayons to draw mouths and “fangs” on the black construction paper cutout.
As a final touch, add googly eyes. Two eyes is traditional, but don’t be surprised if you also have a few multi-eyed bats!
Related: Bat Calendar Numbers
Finishing Touches for the Bats
Once everything is dry, wrap a small amount of black pipe cleaner around the middle of each colorful coffee filter. This creates the wings for the bats. Then glue the wings to the back of the bodies. I confess that the first time I made these little friends, I was in a time crunch so I used a hot glue gun! But regular glue works just as well. Your students’ adorable coffee filter bats are complete!
I really liked seeing the different combination of colors each bat craft had. The faces cracked me up, too! The bats decorated our classroom windows for a while before flying home with the kids.
More Bat Crafts
If your students loved making the coffee filter bats, here are a few more ideas they’ll enjoy:
Bat Silhouette Halloween Art from Easy Peasy and Fun – Cut out small bat shapes, then a few splashes of color from a sponge is all you need for truly gorgeous bat art.
Easy Pinecone Bats from Fireflies and Mudpies – Black felt, pinecones, and googly eyes come together to create an adorable pinecone bat.
Hanging Bat Craft from Buggy and Buddy – I LOVE how this craft hangs upside down like a real bat! There’s also a free template for bat wings, wonderful for all sorts of crafts or fine motor skills practice for the kids.
Cupcake Liner Bat Card from Glued to my Crafts – Cupcake liners make perfect little bat bodies! This card is easily adaptable for kids of all ages to make.
Bat Books for Preschool
The perfect accompaniment to your coffee filter bats are bat books! Use them in circle time, at home around Halloween, or just for a fun new science topic. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Preschool Bat Lesson Plans
Planning meaningful lessons for students week after week while balancing other teaching responsibilities and a personal life can be a daunting task. That’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in to save you time!
If your kids’ experience with the coffee filter bats was a big hit, check out our fully-developed set of bat lesson plans.
Click on the images below for more information on some of our other favorite Halloween-themed resources. And be sure to join the waiting list for The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101!
Originally published October, 2013.