This is a great project to do with your children (students) to teach them about the life cycle of a butterfly. Compliment this craft with "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle and you have a lesson that will encompass:
- The life Cycle of the Butterfly: Egg --> Larva (Caterpillar) --> --> Cocoon --> Butterfly
- Days of the Week
- Art: symmetry
- Fine Motor: cutting, painting
- as well as following directions
Classified: Medium and is great for children 3 and up.
What you need:
- 12x18 White Paper (2 sheets)
- 9x12" Green and brown construction paper
- Tempera Paint
- Egg Carton
- White Pom Pom
- Black Pipe Cleaners
- White glue
- Knife (adult only)
- Stapler (adult only)
- "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle
What to do:
- Preparation: Cut out the bottom of an egg carton into fourths (each piece should be 3 bumps long). Your child (student) will need two sections for this project.
- Make a butterfly wing tracer- if your child (student) is old enough, have them trace this out and cut on their own using white paper.
- Cut four- 2" pieces of black pipe cleaner for the antennas and twelve 1" pieces for the legs.
- Cut a 5x5" brown square of paper for the cocoon.
1. Read the "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle and discuss the transition from egg to caterpillar to cocoon to butterfly.
2. Paint each egg carton piece green and set aside to dry.
3. Either you or the preschooler cut out a leaf using green construction paper and glue the egg (white pom pom) to the center and set aside to dry.
4. To Make the Caterpillar:
Body: We fingered painted orange; red and green onto the caterpillar body and face to make it look like Eric Carle's. Glue on eyes and paint on a mouth. Allow to dry.
Antennas: Have an adult cut two slits onto the top of the caterpillar's head. Slide the antennas into place and glue for an extra hold.
Legs: Bend the legs at 1/4 of the way from the top of the black 1" pipe cleaner. Glue at the bend and stick on to the side of the caterpillar's body. Repeat three times for each side. (Want to include math? Have your preschooler count out 6 legs and divide them into two groups).
Leaf: Draw a large leaf onto a green sheet of construction paper and have your preschooler cut it out. Cut a hole in the leaf to make it look as though the caterpillar ate through it.
Assembly: Glue the caterpillar to the leaf and allow drying.
4. To make the cocoon:
Have your preschooler meet the opposite ends of the 5x5" brown square and have an adult staple them together.
Fold the two ends in, fold together and have an adult staple. This part is great for following directions and for fine motor skills.
Have the preschooler cut out a small branch and glue it to the cocoon.
5. To make the butterfly:
Butterfly Wings: Fold the wings in half. Discuss with your child (student) about the term symmetry. Have them paint one or two colors and black to one side and then folded it together and smoothed it out to create a symmetrical design to the other wing. Allow to dry.
Body: Glue on eyes and paint on a mouth. Allow to dry.
Antennas: Have an adult cut two slits onto the top of the butterfly's head. Slide the antennas into place and glue for an extra hold.
Legs: Bend the legs at 1/4 of the way from the top of the black 1" pipe cleaner. Glue at the bend and stick on to the side of the butterfly's body. Repeat three times for each side. (Want to include math? Have your preschooler count out 6 legs and divide them into two groups).
Glue the body to the wings.
6. Assemble the Life of a Butterfly Chart following the examples below. If your child is old enough, have them write labels him or herself.
|5 Year old with his own labels|
|3 year old|
Vocabulary: Caterpillar, butterfly, symmetry, life cycle, cocoon, metamorphosis, egg, larva.