Preschoolers love butterfly crafts and activities. Roo and I just finished a Butterfly Themed Unit in our preschool curriculum. The butterfly crafts were a huge hit! Each themed unit involves at least one alphabet activity, one counting activity, a few STEM activities, several books to read, and lots of crafts!
If you would like a downloadable version of the unit we did, visit my etsy shop.
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We also got a Butterfly Kit from InsectLore so we could observe the whole butterfly lifecycle for ourselves and get some really fun hands-on learning done. I highly recommend this kit, it was so much fun to watch the caterpillars grow and spin their silk into a chrysalis! Click my affiliate link if you want to check it out. (I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase, but that doesn’t change how much I really enjoyed InsectLore’s kit!)
I’ve shared on my facebook page the videos of us releasing the butterflies if you want to check that out.
Here is a list of all the butterfly crafts we did plus some of the butterfly activities.
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1. Counting Spots Butterfly Activity
butterfly shape template
Write the numbers you want your preschooler to practice on the clothespins. I did 1-12
Using the butterfly template, cut that number of butterflies out of the foam paper. (you can use construction paper or cardstock too, but the foam is more durable and won’t tear after several uses.)
Color dots on the butterflies wings that correspond to the numbers on the clothespins
Have the preschooler clip the “body” to the matching wings. This butterfly activity is a great exercise for the pincer grasp as well as a counting activity!
2. Letter Matching Caterpillar Activity
Cut circles from the foam paper. If you want to do the entire alphabet you’ll need 78 circles, or you can just focus on the most recent 5 letters.
Write uppercase letters on some, lowercase letters on others, and a tiny caterpillar face on the rest. I was lazy and drew the same smiley face on all of them, but it’s more fun if you add some silly faces too!
Have the child choose a letter, find its match, and give it a face. Continue until all caterpillars are built.
I found it’s best to choose only a few letters at a time instead of all 26.
3. Popsicle Stick and Paper Plate Butterfly Craft
Cut a paper plate in half then cut a triangle out of the edge of both halves
Provide two to three colors of paint for the child, a Popsicle stick, and a pipe cleaner.
Let the child decorate the plate and popsicle stick however they please.
Once the paint is dry, attach the pipe cleaner to the top end of the popsicle stick. Then make a thin line of hot glue on the backside of the stick. Quickly attach the plates face down to the back of the stick. I tried other types of glue, but the hot glue worked the best and the wings did not fall off as soon as Roo started playing with her butterfly craft.
4. Beaded Pipe Cleaner Butterfly Craft
Let the preschooler thread beads on each of the pipe cleaners. I love using pipe cleaners for threading practice because of how the pipe cleaner will hold still without flopping around and making the preschooler frustrated.
You might need to make a loop at one end to keep the beads from slipping off.
Once all three are beaded it’s time to shape your butterfly craft. I did it for Roo, but older kids might want to do it themselves. Pick one pipe cleaner to be the body, one for the forewings, and one for the hind wings. Shape the wings into a w shape and attach to the body by twisting the center of the wings around the body.
5. Cardboard Tube Butterfly Craft
Cardboard toilet paper roll
Rhinestones and/or googly eyes
Let the preschooler paint the toilet paper roll. While that dries, have them use washable markers to color on the coffee filter. The more colors the better! Spray the coffee filter with water and watch the colors spread.
Once everything is dry it’s time to construct the butterfly. Preschoolers will need a lot of guidance and help, while older kids might like to do this themselves.
Pinch the dry coffee filter in the middle and wrap a pipe cleaner around it. Poke two small holes in the back of your toilet paper roll and insert the ends of the pipe cleaner. Twist or bend the ends to keep it from falling out.
Poke another hole in the center front of the roll. Cut a pipe cleaner in half and wrap one half
around itself to make a spiral shape. This will create the butterfly’s proboscis. Insert in the hole and twist or bend the end.
Use the other half of the pipe cleaner to create antenna at the top.
For the eyes, I used rhinestones to simulate the compound eyes. Roo wanted googly eyes. She also remembered a conversation we had about how some butterflies have spots on their wings that look like eyes to scare off predators, so she wanted googly eyes for the wings too. This butterfly craft was so much fun and gave us an opportunity to review butterfly anatomy.
More Butterfly Fun
We also did a Butterfly Lifecycle Craft in another post!
If you’re looking to decorate a classroom for a Butterfly Theme Unit, this Butterfly Mobile is on sale in my Etsy shop! It’s perfect for hanging in preschools, libraries, or kids’ rooms and the three colors can be customized.
WhimsyRoo Blog readers can use the code IHEARTWHIMSYROO to get free shipping!
Speaking of Preschooler Classrooms…
Roo and I do theme units in homeschool preschool all the time. Sometimes we just work on letters, numbers, counting, and the general stuff. But it’s easier and more fun if it all fits together under one theme. Since we started Pre-k last year when Roo was 2, I’ve had some time to come up with LOTS of unit ideas. Apples, Nature, Alphabet, and now this one have all been posts I’ve made with the crafts and some of the activities.
If you would like a printable version of all of the crafts and activities in this post PLUS 5 more
visit my etsy shop to see a printable download that you can print and have access to instantly.