Summer is a wonderful time to learn about insects such as butterflies. This STEAM project will engage young patrons in learning about the stages of a butterfly, which include eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. This is a great opportunity for children to engage in creating a life cycle craft. You can also use the websites and books provided below to learn more about the life cycle of a butterfly.
- Paper plates
- Green construction paper/marker (to create a leaf)
- small white cotton balls (to create the eggs)
- Green and yellow pipe cleaners (to create a caterpillar)
- Brown pipe cleaners or a twig (to symbolize the chrysalis stage)
- Small blue tissue paper (for the chrysalis stage)
- Small yellow tissue paper and brown pipe to create your butterfly
- Scrap paper to write down the stages of a butterfly
- First, set up the paper plate on a table and make sure you have space for the material
- Next, use green construction paper and marker to create a leaf
- Use the small white cotton balls to place the eggs on top of the leaf. You can use this opportunity to label this section and explain that a butterfly starts out as an egg.
- Next, use the yellow and green pipe cleaners and twist them together to create a colorful caterpillar. After you twist the green and yellow pipe cleaner, use your fingers to create curves (a U shape). Afterward, cut the edges of the pipe cleaner so that the caterpillar can fit on the plate. Label this section and use this website as a guide to learn about the feeding stage of a caterpillar
- Next, use a blue tissue paper and help your child to crunch it up (shape it) to illustrate the next stage. Place a twig or a blue pipe cleaner (cut out and shaped like a twig.) Label and discuss the chrysalis stage.
- Finally, use the brown pipe cleaner to create the antenna and the yellow tissue paper to create wings for your butterfly.
- Learn thirty facts about butterflies!
STEAM Questions to consider:
- What occurs in each stage?
- What are the parts of a butterfly?
- Why are butterflies important to our ecosystem?
Sleepy Hollow Monarch Habitat Hikes
Butterflies in Room 6 by Caroline Arnold
Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated David Roberts
Senorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer and illustrated by Marcos Amada Rivero
The Great Outdoors Book: The Kids’ Guide to Being Outside by Josie Jeffery
Elmer and the Butterfly by David Mckee
Bugs from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick and Kwanchai Moriya
Butterfly for a King by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore