Life Cycle of a Butterfly

My grandson is obsessed with the life cycle of a butterfly.  He’s either watching videos about the metamorphosis or making the life cycle stages out of Play Doh, or playing with his life cycle toys.  He even had a Life Cycle of a Butterfly birthday this year (which should be a future blog post)  He has stuffed butterflies that turn inside out to become a crysalis, and unzip and tuck to become a caterpillar.  He has plastic butterflies, eggs, chrysalis’, and caterpillars – and I don’t mean one set, he has several!  I don’t know  how his parents find them!  (Hooray for the internet).  I have learned things by him being interested in the metamorphosis.  I always wondered why sometimes we said cocoon and sometimes  we said pupa for that stage.  Answer:  the pupa is the creature inside the cocoon. and cocoon is just a less scientific word for chrysalis.

Because of his interest, we had a few days of caterpillar/butterfly activities.  I checked out several books on butterflies;   Monarchs and other types.

There are also many great videos online.
You can  find activity sheets to print.

All three of these sheets are from Mama Miss’ website.

The printable above has a leaf for each stage of metamorphosis and the kids glue dry pasta on each leaf: farfale (bowtie) for the butterfly, rotini for the caterpillar, a small shell for the egg and a medium shell for the chrysalis.

We cooked the remainder of the bowtie pasta for lunch.
This printout had the words of each stage to trace and write and a box for drawing a picture of that stage.
The third printout is a butterfly to color. Brinley and I each colored one.

  I cut out the butterfly that I colored and then cut it down the middle, made a headband to fit her head and glued half the butterfly on each side of the headband.  I cut out her butterfly  and glued it to a popsicle stick (sorry no picture) so she could ‘fly’ it around while she wore her wings.  

  Kids love stickers.  

We used butterfly and caterpillar stickers of various sizes.

This butterfly painting above was so fun and easy!

Draw a butterfly on a blank card stock.

Have the child squeeze paint on the wings, Brodey dotted the first one,  

and used his finger to mix colors and paint it on the second one.  

While the paint is still wet, fold the paper in half so you are touching the wings together and transferring the paint to both sides.


When they unfold it, it’s symmetrical just like a real butterfly’s wings.  To a preschooler, it’s pretty magical!

We took some time outside to use some of our energy.
Clothes were traded for paint shirts for this messy activity.

We tried gluing pom poms together with yellow paint, thinking that when it dried, it would stick the pom poms together like a monarch caterpillar with yellow stripes on a black body but we had to glue several pom poms together the next day.  He glued some google eyes on the end pom pom.

We worked on a paper towel and I jotted down some of the facts he said while working on the caterpillar. (once a preschool teacher, always a preschool teacher) He wanted to ‘write’ some facts too. FYI Sharpie marker goes right through paper towel, onto the counter, and it’s not too easy to remove.

Using Fruit Loops to decorate a butterfly’s wings was Brodey’s idea.  He saw a butterfly in one of our library books and said it looked like Fruit Loops on his wings and we should make one.  

2 Replies to “Life Cycle of a Butterfly”

  1. I love this one I think you should invite Jen on Facebook or tell me how and I will send it to all my peeps with little ones. Great job ?

    1. I’m not friends with Jen on Facebook I don’t think. Thanks, send me to them!

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