This butterfly life cycle necklace craft needs to be a part of your butterfly activities for preschoolers! It’s a fun, wearable twist on the dyed pasta butterfly life cycle craft.
Your students can practice literacy, science, and fine motor skills with this simple craft. It’s great paired with non-fiction butterfly books and real images that explore the butterfly life cycle.
Once the kids are done with the butterfly necklaces, they can happily retell the butterfly life cycle to all who see it. What a great way to show families what the kids are learning about this spring.
Related: Spring Activities for Preschoolers
Before delving into the craft, be sure to read a variety of butterfly books with your students. 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! The children learn so much as they observe the butterfly life cycle in person.
This simple butterfly life cycle craft is perfect for extending children’s knowledge of caterpillars and butterflies. There’s a printable version available at the bottom of this post, too. You can use the printable cards as a reference for the students, as needed.
Butterfly Life Cycle Necklace
In my experience, preschoolers love crafting all sorts of wearable items. From bracelets to hats to necklaces . . . the children often create their own versions of fine jewelry!
Related: Insect Sensory Bottle
So why not combine that love of crafting wearables with a butterfly theme? That’s honestly how this life cycle of a butterfly necklace first sprang into being all those years ago. When I presented the idea to the preschoolers, they were super excited to test it out with me!
Materials for the Butterfly Life Cycle Craft
We ended up having everything we needed for the necklace on-hand already. That was a nice turn of events! Of course, you don’t need anything super fancy for it. Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Hole punch
- Green construction paper
- Rotini pasta
- Shell pasta
- Farfalle pasta (aka bowtie 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)
If you don’t want to use dyed pasta, you don’t have to! Stickers or handmade drawings would work just as well.
How to Prep the Butterfly Craft
The preschoolers can definitely help get butterfly life cycle necklace materials ready! I would encourage them to do as much as possible, in fact.
First, cut out four leaf shapes from the green construction paper for each child. If the kids are able to cut, that’s perfect! You can draw a simple outline for them, or they can decide exactly how the leaves will look.
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.
Next, cut the straw into three equal pieces. Each child will need 3 pieces. And cutting straws is great scissor practice.
Finally, 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 Necklace Directions
Begin by gluing 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.”
Next, 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 bowtie 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 something that starts with /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.
Related: Butterfly Activities
This craft acts as a necklace, a retelling piece, and a bit of science information all rolled into one. Would your students enjoy making their own butterfly life cycle necklace?
More Animal Life Cycle Activities
If our butterfly life cycle craft necklace was a hit, your kids are going enjoy these activities, too:
- Butterfly Life Cycle Sensory Bottles from Fun-A-Day
- Butterfly Life Cycle Story Board from Growing Book by Book
- Life Cycle of the Butterfly Art from Powerful Mothering
- Play Dough Butterfly Life Cycle from No Stress Homeschooling
- Ladybug Life Cycle Song from Capri +3
- Ladybug Life Cycle Sensory Play from Natural Beach Living
- Frog Life Cycle Sensory Bin from Fun Learning for Kids
- Fine Motor Frog Life Cycle Craft from Life Over Cs
- Frog Life Cycle Craft for Kids from Still Playing School
- Studying Mealworms with Kids from Raising Lifelong Learners
- Sea Turtle Life Cycle Ordering from Rainy Day Mum
- Raise a Praying Mantis from The Educators’ Spin On It
Butterfly Lesson Plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with Preschool Teacher 101’s 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!
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers. And be sure to join The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101’s waitlist. That way, you’re the first to know when our membership is open next. Members get access to all of our products, as well as a few exclusive resources.
Grab Your Free Printable
The free printable life cycle cards are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re a member, enter your email in the form below to have the printable sent to your inbox.
If you’re not a member yet, that’s okay! You can enter your information in the form below to join us. Then you’ll receive the printable as a welcome gift.
You can also access the form in a new tab if you’d prefer.
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.
Originally published March 25, 2015