Rainbow Resource Room
CATERPILLARS & BUTTERFLIES
The spring metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly encourages pre-school and kindergarten children to explore science, color, shape and creative expression. What a wonderful way to learn!
There are 3 black & white printable coloring and pattern pages associated with this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.
Materials: Lunch size brown paper bags, pipe cleaners, 2 cups of popped popcorn for each child and yarn.
Description: After reading, The Hungry Caterpillar, we talk about healthy snacks. Then we make a caterpillar by using a brown paper sack and putting the popcorn in it. Next, using yarn, tie off making three to four sections. You use the pipe cleaner as the antenna. Then the students have a healthy caterpillar snack to share later!
A fallen branch from a tree, the more branches attached to it the
Comments: Incorporate ad nauseum into your plans how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Use all the scientific words, little ones love big words! This is much nicer than the often disastrous live cocoons in the classroom. The poor tiny butterflies often don't make it outside. I've seem them get trampled, etc. Cruel! I've never seen one of those "live butterfly" kits that worked.
Lock Bag: Butterflies
Self sealing plastic sandwich bags, various colors of tissue paper,
Description: Wad the tissue paper and fill the plastic bag (one per child). Seal the bag. Use the clothespin to separate what will be the wings by sliding it down the middle of the bag. Place a piece of clear tape to secure the bottom of the butterfly. Use the black marker to add a pair of eyes
Comments: We then used them to decorate our bulletin board!
Materials: Egg cartons (cut in half the long way, or if you don't have enough, cut in half again, so you have 3 egg cup sections),tempera paint of various colors (bright colored "fabric/puff paints are optional), pair of googly eyes for each child optional), a white paper lunch bag (I asked and got these for free at the deli) for each child.
Directions: Children paint
their egg carton section, and decorate the bags with crayons or markers
while the egg cartons dry. Later that day, or the next day, they
add stripes and spots with the "puff" paints, and glue on the eyes.
(We decided not to put on the pipe cleaner "antennae" we had planned
to, after looking at our classroom
After the paints have dried, the children put their "caterpillars"into the "chrysalis" they had made. Put these up on the wall or ceiling. In a few days (or on the day after your real butterfly hatches) teachers can take the "caterpillars" out of the bag and use the bag to make the butterfly's wings. We placed our "butterflies" around the room, before the children arrived, so that when they did, the room was filled the excitement of butterflies emerging from their chrysalis!
Teachers can change the number as you see appropriate!
Comments: The children loved acting out the parts!
Spring Caterpillars and Butterflies
Day Two: Glue the wiggly eyes on green pompom (head). Then glue all 4 pompoms on clothes pin, making sure the one with the eyes goes on first and on the end of the clothes pin (caterpillar).
Then take the coffee filter (wings) and the clothes pin, insert the coffee filter (wings) into the part that opens and closes of the clothes pin. The coffee filter will be bunched up in the middle. So now you have a butterfly.
Materials: Paper plates (large), green paint, markers (for face)/or use googly eyes, yarn.
Description: Have each child paint a plate green. Paint an extra one for the face. When they are all dry, make a face on one of them and then staple them together to resemble a caterpillar. Hang with string from the ceiling.
One time, when my class was on the playground, I attached cellophane wrap to both sides of the caterpillar to make a giant butterfly. The children were amazed!
Comments: This was a great group project!
is for Butterfly
Materials: Large pattern
of letter B (one per child).
Description: For younger children, cut out the letter B. For the older children, they can cut out their own. Ask the children to decorate their letter B with the various collage materials.
After they are finished, have them draw a face on one end of the craft stick. Have them write their name on the center of the stick (or teacher can write name for younger ones). Have the children glue their B to the craft stick. Beautiful B Butterflies!!
Comments: The children enjoyed the results. Especially if their name started with B.
Materials: Coffee filters (round), pipe cleaner, squirt bottle with water, washable markers, permanent marker.
Description: Children use the washable markers and color the whole filter. Use the permanent marker to write their names. Take it outside and squirt till wet. Do not get overly wet. Let it dry.
After it is dry have children put hands in middle of paper one at the top and bottom and work paper till hands meet scrunching the paper together. Tie it together by wrapping a pipe cleaner around it and bend the ends to make antennas.
Comments: The teacher might want to wear gloves. Let kids spray the water on the coffee filter paper. Ink runs, so be careful.
Materials: Lima beans, tongue depressors, yarn, glue, white cotton or stuffing, green pipe cleaners cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inches long, a three section piece of a cardboard egg carton, paint, pipe cleaners, a large butterfly cut from an 11 X 18 inch piece of black construction paper, glitter, sequins, bug sequins, etc., clear contact paper.
Comments: I put small pieces of saran wrap over the contact paper so that the small pieces of glitter etc., would not fall off!
Cycle of a Butterfly
Materials: Paper plate, small beans, pasta for a caterpillar, cocoon, and a butterfly.
Pasta can be dyed using about a cup or more of alcohol to a few drops of food coloring and mixed. This should be done separately by the teacher.
Comments: children love it.
Materials: Spring clothespins, various color/sizes pompoms, collage materials, coffee filters, eye droppers, water, pipe cleaners, food coloring, toilet paper rolls, yarn.
Description: Talk about how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.
day, have children make a caterpillar
using the clothes pin,
Next day, have children decorate the coffee filter with the food coloring / water mixture using eye droppers.
On the last day, have the children remove the yarn and the caterpillar. Have them scrunch up the middle of the coffee filter and attach the caterpillar in the center. Magically a butterfly appears!
Comments: This is a great way to show them how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly!
Activity: Clothespin Butterflies
Materials: Old fashion clothes pins (not the pincher type) tissue paper, glitter, pipe cleaners, glue.
Cut a set
of the tissue papers into circles the size of a small coffee lid.
Push tissue paper flat inside clothespins. Fluff out the wings
(pull tissue paper apart) to give fluttering image. Light glue and
glitter bring the wings to life. The pipe cleaner twists around
the round head, and then form into circles at the end to make the
Comments: Every year, each group thinks of a little different butterfly that they would like to make. This is the first year we have used glitter, and they turned out beautiful. Gayle's Note: Thanks to everyone who sent in variations of the Clothespin Butterfly
Materials: Different colors of cellophane, clothes pins without the springs in them and pipe cleaners.
Description: Take 2 pieces of colored cellophane and cut them to the desired length of your wings 4 the butterfly. Slide these under the 2 prongs of the clothespin. Then wrap a pipe cleaner around the top to create the antennas. You can also add mini wiggly eyes if desired.
Beginnings (Press-n-Go Butterflies)
Comments: The kids were amazed at how those little drops of paint came together and made so many different designs, and parents just loved them.
Activity: Butterfly Wings
Teacher cuts the side panels out of the paper bags resulting in a large open rectangle with the handles on each end.
Children paint a design on one half of the paper bag (I draw a marker line down the middle to help designate "one half"). Help children fold bag in half making a print on the blank side. Some children like to "fill in" areas that may not have printed fully.
When all the butterfly wings have dried we go out on the playground and the children "fly" by holding onto the handles with the bag lying across their back.
Comments: In the fall when we study caves or around Halloween, I cut a large scalloped edge on one edge of the bag and the children paint them black for "bat wings"
Very Hungry Caterpillar" / Puppet Appeal
Children's project next: Same material but use craft glue. Ask the parents for old socks a week before the project then dye the white socks green.
Description: What could
possibly give the story, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" the appeal
but to make a reversible puppet, caterpillar / butterfly? Teachers
hot glue wiggly eyes and felt strips to an old green sock to create the
Use the puppet to retell the story as followed in the book. Use the precut fruit made from poster board, with the centers cut out so that they are large enough to fit over the puppet. When the caterpillar eats each amount of fruit on the days mentioned in the book have the children place that fruit on the arm representing the caterpillar eating his way through each item.
When the caterpillar starts to change into a beautiful butterfly, pull it off one hand, reversing it as you pull. Now, slip it onto the opposite hand. It's a beautiful butterfly!
Comments: Even a quite shy withdrawn child will not pass up the opportunity to come out of their cocoon to place the food on the arms of the very hungry caterpillar.
Description: Read a story and discuss the transformation of a caterpillar to butterfly ("The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is a good example).
Have the children make caterpillars: Give each child 1/2 of egg carton (equals 1 row of 6 cups). Children paint and decorate the strip. Add pipe cleaner antennae's.
Have children roll their finished
caterpillars up in brown wrapping paper cocoons and hang them around the
Materials: long balloons (blown up), scotch tape, tissue paper,may use stickers or permanent markers.
Description: With permanent markers, write child's name on balloon, then let child make face and antennae on rounded end of balloon. Children may decorate tissue paper rectangles with stickers, or markers for butterfly wings.
Crunch tissue rectangle in center and tape to top of balloon for wings. Let children make their butterflies "fly" by moving their butterflies up and down. Have Fun!
Butterfly Art Activity
"Let the children trace around Butterfly shapes of different sizes, then design their own patterns on the wings. Cut out the butterflies (traced onto cardboard), punch holes on the wings (or body) and thread a piece of string through the holes. This will create a lovely Butterfly chain to display in the classroom, to which each child has made a contribution. Write the child's name in the butterfly's body."
During storytime try reading
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