Fluttering about as they go from flower to flower, butterflies are one of the most loved insects. Children of all ages enjoy watching and chasing them during the spring and summer months. Get ready to get creative with these beautiful butterfly crafts. Perfect spring and summer crafts for you and your kids.
Simple and Easy Crafts
These fun crafts were inspired by a recent camping trip where yellow swallowtail butterflies filled the air. If you are interested in learning more about butterflies with your kids, make sure to check out the end of the post for resources.
The first collection of simple butterfly crafts are made using only natural elements found outside. No fancy supplies needed to create these cute little butterflies.
Sometimes keeping it simple when it comes to kids crafts makes you more likely to actually do them with your kids.
Looking for more easy summer activities for kids? Check out this list of Educational Summer Activities from Growing Dawn. Not only is Tiffany an amazing female blogger, but homeschooling mom of 4 little boys.
Simple Art Supplies
On our trip, I did bring along watercolor paints, watercolor paper, and chalk. These are my go to camping art supplies. I used those supplies along with common household items that we had in our camper including coffee filters, old newspapers, cloths pins, and scissors.
I also give you ideas for how to incorporate glue, magnets, and craft sticks if you are looking to create a more permanent creation.
List of Butterfly Crafts for Kids
Read on to find out how to make your own butterflies using these simple supplies. Hopefully this list of easy butterfly crafts will inspire you and your kids to go outside and create your own!
Don't forget to share your ideas in the comments below. I love hearing about how you take ideas and add your own spin to them.
Creating Beautiful Butterflies with Natural Elements
When using natural elements, young children will enjoy collecting items as they walk around outside. As you go out exploring, gather supplies to create more than one type of butterfly. Keep an eye out for any items that you can use for butterfly wings and antennae.
Even a small park or backyard provides many items that can be used for these craft projects. Don't feel that you need to go camping or explore a large wild habitat in order to do them.
Keep it Simple and Easy
Getting outside and exploring is always a fun way to experience nature no matter how big or small the space.
I love how all of these art projects can be completed outdoors. We are all craving a little bit of simplicity right now. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that keep it simple and easy.
River Rocks and Slate
River rocks including broken pieces of slate, make excellent butterfly wings. Going on a hunt with your little kids to find the perfect wings, is a great way to get kids outside exploring nature. I was able to find slate that was iridescent and contained shades of blue, grey, silver, and orange.
Rocks and stones are perfect for little hands to move around to create a butterfly's wings. Pick some greenery or use more rocks to create antennae. Try out a few different designs using materials that you collected.
Different Types of Colorful Leaves
Isn't it amazing that even in late spring, you can find leaves with different shades of green along with pops of red. These camouflaged butterflies would be perfect to make while hiking. Collect two different types of leaves for the wings. To add a dramatic effect, try using the underside of the leaf where the leaf vein shows.
These leaves had bright colors even on the underside of the leaves. Think of leaves as nature's tissue paper. Using colorful leaves creates a natural version of tissue paper butterflies. Get creative and find some different greenery for the antennae.
If you make them outside in a park or on a hiking trail, it would be fun to leave them behind for anther child to find. These colorful butterfly projects have the ability to brighten a stranger's day.
For a different version, use foliage collected from a vegetable garden. A tiny baby carrot sprout along with dinosaur kale, and purple kohlrabi leaves together create a beautiful butterfly. This one along with the watercolor leaf print one further down in the article might be my favorites.
Simple Grass and Seedhead Butterflies
Whimsical and fun these butterflies can be made using only one type of grass. These were made using grass found growing along a lake shore, but if left to grow, any grass will produce seedheads.
Head out to a wild setting or look on the outskirts of the lawn to find a few blades of grass that the mower missed.
I love how these appear to be dancing due to the long strands of grass. It would be fun to create different species of butterflies using different types of grass. Purple fountain grass or even regular old grass that grows in your lawn would make for a simple craft project.
Attach to Wooden Pegs, Craft Sticks, or Natural Sticks
Attach the grass and seedheads to wooden pegs and know you have an easy way for kids to run around and with these handmade butterflies. Craft sticks like popsicle sticks could also be used.
I can image younger children running around chasing butterflies with their homemade beautiful butterflies fluttering in the air. These make an easy butterfly art activity for kids of all ages.
Paper Butterfly Crafts
Simple household materials can be used to create these spring crafts. Old newspaper and paper coffee filters folded accordion style are held together with a cloths pin. These are a great way for little kids to create paper butterfly crafts.
Newspaper Craft Tips
- If using newspaper, accordion fold a single rectangle.
- Instead of using scissors, kids can rip the paper to create rough edges.
Coffee Filter Butterfly Tips
- Fold two separate filters to create four butterfly wings.
- Divide the two coffee filters in half using a clothes pin.
Ripping paper, folding the pieces, and opening clothes spins are all awesome way for little kids to practice fine motor skills.
Create Your Own Tissue Paper Butterflies
Take out a watercolor painting set and let them add bright colors to the newspaper or coffee filters. An easy way to create your own tissue paper butterflies using materials you have on hand.
Whether you turn these into colorful butterflies or leave them plain, these can show you that sometimes the best things require the simplest supplies.
Butterfly Lifecycle Art Project
A simple way to show a butterfly lifecycle is to add a caterpillar similar to this one made out of an egg cartoon. A paper towel roll or toilet paper roll can be used instead of an egg cartoon if you have one of those on hand.
Add a stick for the antennae. Take out the paint to add some beautiful colors. Or keep it natural and find different colored objects in nature to add a pop of color. I added fresh evergreen growth to my caterpillar.
Overturned leaves with small white flower petals create the egg stage of the lifecycle. Make a chrysalis out of a closed wet pine cone placed against a stick. The lifecycle is complete with a paper butterfly made out of newspaper.
Pair this fun butterfly craft with a few stories such as the Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, an all time favorite.
Or check out this newer book, The Amazing Life Cycle of Butterflies (Look and Wonder) written by Kay Barnham illustrated by Maddie Frost which tells a beautiful story of a butterfly's life-cycle.
Let your kids get creative and turn basic watercolor paper into beautiful butterflies. One way is to simply use different watercolors to paint images of butterflies.
Research different types of butterflies and try to paint realistic insects. Or create an abstract painting based on ones you have seen fluttering about in your yard. Both would make a fun activity for kids of all ages.
Another way is to cover the paper with watercolor paint with different colors and patterns or even splatter paint style. Then cut out wings free hand or using the free template below.
- Free downloadable template
These paper butterflies can be hung up and used as a cute decoration. Or kids can play with them outside while they chase real butterflies.
Butterfly Ring Craft
Using the watercolor paper, and glue, kids can create a butterfly ring craft. Cut out wings of different sizes to make more than one ring.
Or have your kids come up with a way to create a ring using only paper without glue. Simply cut out the butterfly while leaving a long strip attached. Then roll the attached strip to make a ring.
Stamped Butteflies with Paint
Using the underside of leaves, apply a layer of watercolor paint. Then press the painted leaf down onto watercolor paper. Slowly lift the leaf up once you applied pressure around the entire leaf. A wonderful way to integrate stamping using natural elements.
Try out a few different types of leaves. I had better luck with one type of leaf compared to another. A fun way to create your own butterfly prints using leafs found outside.
Once dried, the leaf prints can be turned into beautiful greeting cards. Creating a special gift to give to a loved one.
Or simply cut them out, add a small magnet to the back to crate a colorful butterfly magnet. Great for kids off all ages.
Beautiful Butterflies Made of Flowers
Not only do flowers come in all different shapes, sizes, and smell amazing, but their petals can be used to make spring and summer crafts.
Lupins are perfect since their petals already form half of a butterfly.
Encourage your kids to use different types of flowers to create cute little butterflies. Older kids will be able to manipulate the flower petals easier than younger children.
Use Mod Podge to Create Decoupage Butterflies
For a fun way to make these creations last more than one day, lay the petals on paper or another flat surface. Then coat the underside of the petals with mod podge or decoupage and place them on the surface.
Once they are all in place, cover the top of the petals with one or two thin coats of modge podge and let dry. If using a glass jar, flower petal butterflies can become stained glass butterflies.
The Challenge of Working with Flowers
These flower petal butterflies are beautiful, however, moving around little petals can be a challenge.
Younger children will benefit from assistance unless you find larger flower petals such as rose petals. While older kids may enjoy the challenge and the concentration it requires to put these together.
Back to Basics - Simple Butterflies
Here you will find a few more butterfly crafts that are really easy for kids of all ages. Water applied to a rock using a paintbrush can make beautiful butterflies without the mess.
Add in some chalk mixed with water and you have a fun way to paint without using actual paint. Or even just use chalk, but instead of applying it to pavement or cement, go out and find some large smooth rocks.
Coat a little one's hands with water and help them for a handprint butterfly craft. What is great about using water, kids still have all of the fun, but you don't have to worry about clean up.
Even use simple pine cones arranged into butterfly wings or pieces of ferns with bark as a body. Sticks can be used to create butterfly art in the sand along with sticks arranged to form the outline of a butterfly's wings.
Use any of these to make a fun and quick impromptu craft while exploring the woods with kids. Little ones love to be creative even if using simple natural elements found in nature.
Nature Inspired Learning with Kids
What I love best about these crafts is that they encourage your kids to get outside and be creative. Having to problem solve while coming up with ideas is what makes these crafts so fun.
Make these crafts during the spring then make them again as a summer craft and have a completely different experience.
Similar to an open ended toy, these will hopefully encourage your kids to use critical thinking skills along with simply having fun.
Butterfly Themed Science Resources
Pair these fun craft projects with some science specific resources. Head outside, read a few books, explore butterfly guides, or read some websites together.
Explore Nature Together
- Go outside together and observe butterflies in their natural habitat
- Hunt for caterpillars then use a resource to try to identity them
- Pair caterpillars with their butterfly stage
- Collect data on the number and type of butterflies you observe
- Make a graph to show the butterfly data you collected
Read a Few Good Books
- A Butterfly Is Patient by D. Aston Illustrated by S. Long
- Butterflies & Moths: Smithsonian Guide Book by D. Carter
- Butterflies for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to the Butterfly Life Cycle and Beautiful Species to Discover by L. Davidson
- The Life Cycles of Butterflies by J. Burris
Check Out Online Resources
- Journey North Migration Tracking Monarchs and other species website
- Winged Wonders San Diego Zoo Kids Website
- The Butterfly Life Cycle National Geographic Kids Website
- Butterflies Smithsonian Institute Website
What other materials can be used to make butterfly crafts for kids?
I would love to hear about what you and your kids use to create your own beautiful butterfly craft. Make sure to share your ideas in the comments below.
And don't let your kids be the only one to make these, I had so much fun making many of these by myself. Mom's can benefit from a little bit of arts and craft time as well!