build-a-butterflyYou are probably looking at the picture above and asking yourself, “what is this monstrosity she had her child create?”  Well, this is what a preschooler calls a butterfly.  I wanted to review what we learned from our field trip to the museum the day before.  This “art” activity was an excellent opportunity for me to see what Lil’ Man could recall about butterflies.

Lil’ Man loves to raid my craft supplies.  I find pilfered cardstock, ribbon, pipe cleaners, etc. strewn about my house in what I can best surmise is abstract art.  I figured I would take advantage of his penchant for stealing my materials and I gave them to him to create the masterpiece pictured above.


  • Pipe Cleaners (various colors)
  • Pom poms (small, medium and large)
  • Glue
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Straw (for the proboscis)
  • Googly Eyes
  • Cardstock (I used this premade file for Lil’ Man to cut out the heart-shaped wings)


  1. I had Lil’ Man practice his fine motor skills by having him cut out the two heart-shaped wings.  He knows to start cutting from the edge to get to the hearts.  For younger children, you may need to model this skill or give them a starting point.dsc_0150
  2. We then glued down the wings.  Lil’ Man practiced his preschool’s mantra, “dot, dot, not a lot.”

    Dot, dot, not a lot!
  3. Next we reviewed the three sections of the butterfly’s body:  head, thorax and abdomen.  We chose two medium sized pom poms for the head and thorax and a large pom pom for the abdomen.dsc_0163
  4. We then applied our googly eyes and discussed how the butterfly actually has thousands of eyes.  We selected pipe cleaners for the antenna and a straw for the proboscis.  (The proboscis is a straw-like tongue that the butterfly unfurls to gather nectar.)  dsc_0167
  5. Next, we selected pipe cleaner for the butterfly’s legs.  I cut 4 long and 2 short legs.  Lil’ Man applied the glue and held down the pipe cleaners for 30 seconds.
  6. What is a butterfly without it’s ornate markings?  Lil’ Man added some glue and chose several different glitters to add to his butterfly.  dsc_0170
  7. After letting the glue dry for 30 minutes, we reviewed the butterflies anatomy and I added

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