Studying butterflies is an exciting way for students to learn about the life cycle, symmetry, and insects. Below is a list of the best activities you can use in your classroom to bring a butterfly theme of study to life. From butterfly crafts, books about butterflies, and butterfly life cycle activities, these are sure to transform your students’ learning experiences from boring to memorable!
1. Create a Stick Butterfly
Get your students outside for this fun activity! Take a walk to explore butterflies’ habitats. While outside, have students find a stick to be the butterfly body for your craft. Have kids color on coffee filters and then drop water on them using pipettes to create striking tie-dyed wings.
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2. Eat Your Way Through a Butterfly Life Cycle
Gather foods that represent eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis, and butterflies. Have students arrange them on a piece of paper and create a diagram connecting the life cycle. Afterward, enjoy a tasty treat!
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3. Watch a Brain Pop Video
Tim and Moby know just about everything. Even better? Kids love learning from them. Watch the Metamorphosis video on Brain Pop to learn all about the metamorphosis process of butterflies. There are also lesson plans and activities to go along with this video.
Learn More: BrainPOP
4. Play Butterfly Bingo
To play this game, students will need to listen to the teacher’s descriptions of the assorted butterflies. They can use a manipulative to mark which butterflies their teacher has called; the first with 3 in a row wins!
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5. Do a Butterfly Yoga Flow
Settle students and practice mindfulness through this yoga sequence. Students will need to engage in whole-body listening as they follow each step.
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6. Make a Life Cycle Necklace
This butterfly life cycle necklace project will help students learn the sequence of the life cycle. Print out the different stages of the life cycle, mix them up, and have students put them in the right order. String them onto a piece of yarn to create a necklace!
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7. Do a Sequencing Activity
Here’s a creative way to help students practice sequencing: create first, next, then, and finally flaps. Under each, have them illustrate that step of the life cycle.
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8. Create a Butterfly Identification Chart
Let your children be little butterfly scientists. Students will need to identify the different butterflies and sort them into the correct categories; identifying butterflies based on color and shape.
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9. Create a Butterfly Sensory Bin
Create a butterfly-themed sensory bin for children. Place natural items like stones, sticks, and leaves into a sensory bin and add plastic butterflies. Or, let your students spread their wings, and have them collect items to go in the bin.
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10. Write a Butterfly Poem
Tap into your students’ inner poet by learning about the life cycle with a poem. Create a poster of the poem and hang it in your classroom. As you read the poem, students will learn about the life cycle and the mechanics of poetry.
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11. Read a Butterfly Book
There are so many amazing books about butterflies, that it’s hard to choose just one! To learn about butterflies, to get students excited about butterflies, or to just supplement your unit, share one of these read-alouds with your class.
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12. Grow Butterflies
For a great lesson in the life cycle, and in patience, try growing your own butterflies. Have students collect caterpillars, and create a habitat for them. Then, sit and wait, as the caterpillars become beautiful butterflies.
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13. Teach Butterfly Symmetry
Butterfly wings are a beautiful way to study and learn about symmetry. This is an easy project that can be done with a butterfly printable. Fold the paper in half, place dots of paint on the wings, and then fold the paper so that the sides are touching. When you open the wings up, it will present a symmetrical set of wings.
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14. Start a Butterfly Garden
Butterfly gardens are the perfect place to observe butterflies in their natural habitat. Learn how to create a garden with your class. Students will need to choose the right plants to grow and will learn how to care for the butterflies.
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15. Make a Butterfly Feeder
Attract butterflies to your school or your home with these easy-to-make butterfly feeders. After creating the feeder, you’ll need to fill it with a special butterfly food, which is shown in the video.
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16. Play a Life Cycle Game
Help children learn about insect life cycles by playing this fun game which focuses on butterflies’ lives. This ready-to-go printable is both easy and educational.
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17. Make a Butterfly Mask
Kids love designing and wearing masks! In this colorful butterfly craft, let children decorate their own butterfly masks by cutting paper into a butterfly shape. Let students wear their masks for some butterfly fun!
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18. Sing a Butterfly Song
Kids will love dancing and singing along to this butterfly song. They’ll be introduced to other insects along the way too!
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19. Make a Butterfly Hat
Here’s a creative way to review the life cycle- make butterfly hats with your students. Print out these worksheets, have students color each stage, and then place them in order on their hats. They’ll love wearing them around!
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20. Make a Butterfly Clay Footprint Dish
Looking for a great Mother’s day project to do with your class? Here’s a beautiful idea- create a ring dish. Simply use air-dry clay, make the imprints, and paint after they’re dry.
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21. Make a Stained Glass Butterfly
Use pieces of tissue paper to create these stained glass art projects, and hang them in windows to catch the Spring sunshine. This is a great sensory project as well.
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22. Go on a Social Emotional Butterfly Scavenger Hunt
Feeling butterflies in your tummy? Turn a common phrase into an introduction to social-emotional learning for students. Use this bundle to set up a butterfly scavenger hunt in your classroom; focusing on social-emotional words.
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23. Do a Unit Study on Butterflies
Lead your students in a unit study of butterflies to learn as much as you can about them. This guide will get you started and will launch your class into an exciting learning unit focused on butterflies.
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24. Do a STEM Activity
Students will love this simple experiment that will make a butterfly balloon inflate! You’ll need a balloon with a butterfly drawn on it, baking soda, and vinegar. Mix the last two in a bottle for a reaction, and place the balloon on top of the bottle.
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25. Watch a Butterfly Web Cam
Pull up a webcam of a butterfly exhibit that’s set up at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory in Key West, Florida. Kids will love watching butterflies flit around, and it’s a great opportunity to study their behaviors.
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26. Make Butterfly Pasta Art
This easy and cute butterfly art activity is a great sensory experience for kids. Simply buy bowtie pasta, dye it different colors, and have students glue it onto paper or canvas. This is an easy, tactile activity for toddlers and elementary students!
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