Preschoolers love learning about insects, and butterflies are often a favorite with my students. So I was inspired to share a classic butterfly life cycle craft with a little twist.
Be sure to grab your free printable butterfly life cycle cards at the bottom of this post, too.
Related: I Spy Insect Sensory Bottle
Find all of our butterfly activities in our butterfly lesson plans.
Make a Butterfly Life Cycle Craft Necklace with Kids
Green construction paper
Bow tie pasta
Liquid watercolors or food coloring
Hemp string (yarn or any kind of string would work)
Paper straw (a plastic straw would work as well)
Prior to the craft
This simple butterfly life cycle craft is perfect for extending children’s knowledge of caterpillars and butterflies.
Before delving into the craft, be sure to read a variety of butterfly books with the kiddos.
I also LOVE LOVE LOVE bringing caterpillars into the classroom for observation. I’ve done that for years and years, and I’m still amazed at the process!
Related: Butterfly Name Activities
How to Prep Before the Activity
The preschoolers can definitely help prep this craft! I would encourage them to do as much as possible, in fact.
Cut out four leaf shapes from the green construction paper.
Dye the pasta based on your preferences (and the preferences of the children, of course). I used liquid watercolors this time around, but I’ve also used food coloring or markers in the past. Use a hole punch to create a tiny paper circle for the egg.
Cut the straw into three equal pieces.
Print the butterfly life cycle words (unless you and the children are hand writing the words).
Related: Butterfly Life Cycle Emergent Reader
Butterfly Life Cycle Craft Necklace Directions
Glue each life cycle label on one green leaf. This is a great time to talk to the children about letters, letter sounds, comparing and contrasting word length, etc.
For example, I might say, “Let’s see. I’m looking for the word ‘egg’. I know that it starts with the /e/ sound, and I know it’s the smallest word here.”
Glue each life cycle piece on the appropriate leaf. The tiny circle hole-punched from white paper is the egg, the rotini is the caterpillar, the shell pasta is the chrysalis, and the bow tie pasta is the butterfly.
Again, this is a great time to touch on early literacy concepts. For example, I might say, “I’m trying to find the word that starts with the letter b.”
Once the previous items are dried, it’s time to assemble the life cycle necklace. This is a good way for the kids to work on their fine motor skills.
The order should be egg, straw, caterpillar, straw, chrysalis, straw, and butterfly.
The straws act as spacers for the life cycle pieces so that the life cycle is visible when the necklace is on.
Would your students like this butterfly life cycle craft necklace?
I find preschoolers love creating items they can well! This craft acts as a necklace, a retelling piece, and a bit of science information all rolled into one.
Butterfly Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme – whole group, small group, and center ideas. Additionally, there are printable lesson plans, book suggestions, and related printables!
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers
Originally published March 25, 2015
Grab Your Free Printable
The free printable life cycle cards are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. You can click on the button below to join and get the butterfly cards as a freebie.
You can use the life cycle cards a few different ways:
- Have the kids cut them out and use them as part of the butterfly life cycle craft necklace.
- Laminate them and keep them in your science center so the kids can continue to explore the butterfly life cycle.
- Put the cards in your literacy center with magnetic letters so the children can make the words. They’re also great writing prompts.
- Hole punch the laminated cards and put them on a string for character necklaces. Kids can wear them individually in the dramatic play center as they act out how a butterfly comes to be.
More life cycle lesson ideas
Butterfly Life Cycle Activities for Kids
Butterfly Life Cycle Story Board by Growing Book by Book
Life Cycle of the Butterfly in Art by Powerful Mothering
Playdough Butterfly Life Cycle by Fun Learning Ideas
Praying Mantis Life Cycle Activities for Kids
Raise a Praying Mantis Activities for Kids to Explore Life Cycles by The Educators’ Spin On It