STEAM Activity: Butterfly Life Cycle

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

Recommended Reads:

Butterflies in Room 6 by Caroline Arnold
(Grades K-3)
Library Catalog

Ada Twist Scientist by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated David Roberts
(Grades K-3)
Library Catalog

Senorita Mariposa by Ben Gundersheimer and illustrated by Marcos Amada Rivero
(Grades K-3)
Library Catalog

The Great Outdoors Book: The Kids’ Guide to Being Outside by Josie Jeffery
(Grades 3-6)
Library Catalog

Elmer and the Butterfly by David Mckee
(Grades K-3)
Library Catalog

Bugs from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick and Kwanchai Moriya
(Grades K-3)
Library Catalog

Butterfly for a King by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
(Grades K-3)
Library Catalog

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *