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Butterfly Life Cycle Craft

Do your kids love butterflies? Then they’ll enjoy making this easy butterfly life cycle craft, one of our spring craft ideas for kids

It’s a great way for preschoolers and kindergartners to reinforce what they’ve learned about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. I love how visual and tactile it is for being so simple to do.

You can easily pair this project with the learning activities we suggest later in this post as well as the cut and paste life cycle worksheet available at the bottom.

White and black text on green background at top says Butterfly Life Cycle Craft. Under text is a close view of a paper plate with construction paper and pasta glued to it. Sections are labeled for each stage of the cycle.

This butterfly craft is perfect to work on in the spring or summer. During this time of year, kids are more likely to find caterpillars and see butterflies fluttering around.

Preschool children are sure to have lots of questions about them too!

My favorite way to engage children in learning is with hands-on science activities. Those are more exciting and they look forward to it too!

It doesn’t require a lot of materials and is pretty easy to pull together for an impromptu outdoor science lesson

More Insect Crafts

Bottle of glue, different types of dry pasta, some grains of white rice, a black marker, scissors, and green and brown construction paper are on top of a paper plate. The paper plate is on top of a larger bright green piece of paper with a ruler next to it.

Butterfly Life Cycle Craft Supplies

You’ll need a paper plate, any plate size will do, but you’ll have more room to decorate and label each life cycle stage if using a large one.

You will also need construction paper, a few pieces of uncooked rice, and three different shapes of dry pasta from your pantry.

Did you know farfalle pasta is called that because farfalle is the Italian word for butterfly? Farfalle is also known as bow tie pasta. It really makes it the perfect option to represent butterflies in this life cycle craft.

How to Make a Life Cycle of a Butterfly Craft

Gather up everything you need and start by dividing the paper plate into four sections. You can use a ruler and a marker to make the lines nice and straight.

Next cut out a leaf shape from green paper and glue it in one of the four quadrants. Then glue a few grains of rice onto the leaf to represent eggs.

Overhead view of top half of white paper plate marked with four equal sections. Top two section have paper and rice or pasta glued to them to represent different stages of a butterfly's life. Other paper, scissors, and pieces of pasta are laying nearby.

Use brown paper to cut out a branch and another small leaf from green paper. Glue them down in the section to the right of the eggs. Now add a rotini noodle to the branch to represent a caterpillar.

Cut out another branch and glue it in the section to the right of the caterpillar. Take a small shell shaped noodle and glue it just below the branch to look like a chrysalis hanging from it.

Close view of paper plate that now different types of pasta glued to bottom sections.

Now glue a farfalle (bow tie) pasta to represent the butterfly that emerged from the chrysalis.

If you want to make this more of a nature craft, you can glue small sticks down for the branches and gather leaves from outside too.

Large paper plate with four quadrants, each labeled with one of the life stages of a butterfly. Each stage also has paper and/or pasta glue to it to visually illustrate the life cycle.

Use a marker to label each life stage section: eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. You can also add arrows showing the direction the life cycle follows from egg to butterfly.

If you want, create a Butterfly Life Cycle label and glue it in the center of the plate. 

Butterfly Life Cycle Activities for Kids

Kids are naturally curious about the world around them. It’s not surprising that they want to know more about caterpillars and butterflies.

By offering a variety of activities, such as crafts, games, books, worksheets, toys, and educational videos, you will keep learning interesting. 

Here are a few ideas on how to extend this butterfly life cycle craft for further learning. You could use some or all of these ideas for a butterfly unit study!

Close view of an orange and black butterfly with its wings open and sitting on the bottom of a netted butterfly garden kit before being released outside.

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Raise Caterpillars – We’ve purchased this butterfly growing kit a few times and my kids are always fascinated by the process. Watching caterpillars go through metamorphosis and emerge from their chrysalis in your own living room is pretty amazing!

Butterfly Life Cycle Worksheet – Use this printable to discuss each stage of the butterfly’s life cycle. Work on fine motor skills with this cut and paste sequencing activity. 

Butterfly Snack – Another fun way for kids to visualize the different stages is to make this edible butterfly life cycle.

Butterfly Life Cycle Addition Ten Frame Printable – These ten frame printable math sheets use the butterfly’s life stages to fill in the frames. Use them for themed kindergarten math practice to work on visualizing numbers, counting, and simple addition up to 10.

Books About Butterflies

National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly – National Geographic books always have gorgeous photography. This is a Level 1 Reader that gives kids a look at caterpillars and how they transform into butterflies.

Ten Magic Butterflies by Danica McKellar – This book mixes math with an enchanting story. It features flower friends who turn into butterflies with a bit of magic. Throughout the story, children will learn different ways to group numbers to create ten. They won’t even realize it’s a math lesson!

My, Oh My–A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies – This book is part of the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library. Many younger children enjoy the style and format of these stories. They’ll learn interesting facts about butterflies, information about their life cycle, as well as follow the monarch migration.

Butterflies for Kids (A Junior Scientist’s Guide) – An excellent option for independent readers, this book is for kids 6-9 years old. They’ll learn about the complete life cycle, stats, facts, and information about over 30 different butterflies.

More Paper Plate Crafts

Large paper plate with four quadrants, each labeled with one of the life stages of a butterfly. Each stage also has paper and/or pasta glue to it to visually illustrate the life cycle.

Butterfly Life Cycle Craft

Yield: 1
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $5 or less

Help kids learn about the butterfly life cycle with this craft.


  • Paper Plate
  • Black Marker
  • Green, Brown, and Blue Construction Paper


  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler


  1. Use a marker and draw two lines dividing the paper plate into four sections.
  2. Glue a paper leaf in one section and glue some rice on the leaf to be eggs.
  3. Cut and glue a branch with a small leaf in the next section. Add a rotini on the branch to represent a caterpillar.
  4. Add another branch and glue it in the section next to the rotini caterpillar. Glue a small shell pasta under the branch like a chrysalis.
  5. In the last spot, glue a farfalle (bow tie) pasta to represent a butterfly.
  6. Label each life stage and attach a Butterfly Life Cycle label in the center.


Use sticks and leaves from your yard instead of paper and pasta for a nature craft.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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