Creating art projects to illustrate the life cycle of a butterfly can be a fun and educational activity for children. Whether made in the home or the classroom, butterfly cycle art projects should be tailored to the children's age group. Allow the children to display their finished project, and refer back to it when quizzing the children about what they learned.
Butterfly Cycle Mobile
Create a hanging display of the four life stages of a butterfly's life cycle. Start with a paper plate and decorate it with crayons and markers. Draw a spiraled line on its surface and cut along the line to create a long coil. Cut out a leaf, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly from colored construction paper. Punch holes in a white piece of paper with a hole puncher. Glue the loose circles on the leaf to represent eggs. Punch a hole through the top of the chrysalis and use a piece of yarn to attach it to a small, lightweight twig. Cut different lengths of yarn or sewing thread and tape them to the back of each life cycle piece. Position the strings along the paper plate coil so the life cycle pieces are hanging in order. Attach a piece of string to the center of the paper plate coil and use it to hang the completed mobile in a window or from a ceiling.
Butterfly Bulletin Board
This project is helpful in a classroom setting while teaching students about the butterfly life cycle. Have each student create the four stages of the life cycle. As they are working on each piece, teach them about that phase in the cycle. Help them cut out leaves from green construction paper and glue small, white paper ovals on the leaves to represent eggs. Have them cut out circles from multiple colors of construction paper or felt and glue them together to form a caterpillar. Give each child a pair of moving eyes to attach to the caterpillars head. Instruct the children to lay a piece of brown paper towel flat on their desk and place two or three cotton balls in the center. Have them roll the paper towel up over the cotton balls to create a small tube-like chrysalis. Help each child glue her chrysalis to a twig with hot glue. Let the children layer colored tissue paper pieces together and tie them together in the center with a pipe cleaner. Cover the classroom bulletin board with a single color of paper. Help the children hang their butterfly life cycle pieces on the bulletin board. Hang all of the leaves in the upper right corner, the caterpillars in the upper left corner, the chrysalises in the lower left corner and the butterflies in the lower right corner. Draw arrows between the stages with a marker and hang signs by each stage to identify it.
Life Cycle Pasta Plate
Give each child a paper plate and let him decorate it with crayons, markers or paint. Help the children cut out a small leaf from green construction paper. Give each child a few pieces of rice and explain that it represents the eggs. Have the children glue the rice to the leaf and the leaf to their paper plates. Instruct them to write egg next to the leaf. Pass out a piece of spiral pasta to the kids and teach them about the caterpillar stage. Have them glue the spiral pasta to their plates and label it a caterpillar. Give the children a piece of shell pasta and share facts about the chrysalis stage. Allow the children to glue the shell to the paper plate and label it chrysalis. Pass out pieces of bow tie pasta to represent the butterfly. Talk about this stage of the life cycle while the children glue it to the plate. Have them label the bow tie pasta as the butterfly and instruct them to draw arrows between the life cycle stages to show the correct order. Hang their life cycle pasta plates up for display.
Life Cycle Flip Book
After talking about the different life cycle stages of a butterfly, help the children make a flip book to demonstrate what they have learned. Give each child four index cards or half sheets of paper. Help the children draw each life cycle on a separate piece of paper. Give them crayons, markers and glitter to decorate each drawing. Help them label each stage correctly and punch two holes along the top of each card or page. Have the children place the stages in order. Assist the children as they thread pieces of string or yarn through the holes and tie the ends together in a knot. Ask the children to show you their flip books. As they flip to each stage, ask them questions about that stage to test their knowledge.
- Butterfly life cycle image by Matthew Cole from Fotolia.com