How to Make Bug Juice for Kids

by Zora Hughes

Many people who attended a traditional summer camp as a child experienced the camp classic, bug juice. As a kid, you might not have known that it was simply a powdered mix drink, but you knew it was brightly colored, sweet and standard at every lunch and dinner. You can make bug juice for your own kids for a camping-themed birthday or slumber party. However, there is no uniform recipe. One person will tell you it's always made with strawberry-flavored powdered mix and another will tell you it's made with fruit punch mix and pineapple juice. Everyone experienced bug juice a little differently. Choose your favorite flavors, get creative and come up with your own version.

Basic Bug Juice

Pour an envelope of your two favorite flavored powder drinks into a large pitcher. Common flavors associated with bug juice include cherry, raspberry, strawberry, fruit punch and lemon-lime.

Add sugar a little at a time and taste as you go to adjust your sweetness level.

Fill the pitcher with water about 3/4 of the way up and stir.

Add two to three drops of food coloring if you like. Red and green are common for bug juice.

Fill the pitcher the rest of the way up with ice and serve.

Bug Juice Variations

Use ginger ale or a lemon-lime soda for about half of the water in the pitcher to make carbonated bug juice.

Incorporate sugar-free powdered drink mixes to make the bug juice healthy, but still tasty. Or, skip the powdered mix all together and make a drink from fresh fruit. Simply puree fruits like raspberries and strawberries and mix with lemon juice or fresh pineapple juice. The natural sugars from the fruits means you don't have to add much more sugar.

Make a slushy bug juice using all ginger ale or lemon-lime soda rather than water. Then add several scoops of sherbet ice cream in any flavor. For a frozen bug juice, blend all the ingredients with crushed ice in a blender.

Add gummy worms to make creepy crawly bug juice that will thrill the kids. You can also cut the gummy worms in half, put one in each compartment in the ice cube tray, add water and freeze for gummy worm ice cubes.

Items you will need

  • Pitcher
  • Flavored powder mix (any flavor)
  • Sugar
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Ice


  • Avoid using plastic bugs or anything small and hard in the bug juice, as this could be a serious choking hazard for small kids. Use the fake bugs to decorate around the bug juice pitcher instead.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Zora Hughes has been writing travel, parenting, cooking and relationship articles since 2010. Her work includes writing city profiles for Groupon. She also writes screenplays and won the S. Randolph Playwriting Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in television writing/producing and a Master of Arts Management in entertainment media management, both from Columbia College.

Photo Credits

  • Mike Powell/Lifesize/Getty Images