This beautiful big flapping butterfly craft is great for preschoolers and they’ll absolutely love making it flutter around! It’s really simple and effective to construct and all you really need to make it is a sheet of paper or card and some colours!
There are endless ways to decorate the wings, so you can choose to keep the craft very simple or have your little ones really go to town with paint and collage! Kids can make it flutter simply by holding the body and moving it up and down, or you can insert a wooden kebab stick and they can make it flap around using that.
I’ve included a FREE template for the butterfly which includes two versions – a plain outline so kids can decorate it however they want, or a version with patterns on the wings to trace and colour. You can find the download box at the end of the tutorial.
For other crafts and resources related to INSECTS and SPRING see the end of the post!
- A sheet of paper or cardstock
- Coloured pens, crayons, paints or collage materials
- Glue and/or sticky tape
- Optional: wooden kebab stick, pipe cleaners, stickers or other decorative items
How to make the Big Flapping Butterfly Craft:
1. Download the free template (see the download box at the end of the tutorial) and print the butterfly onto paper or cardstock. Print the blank template if you want your kids to decorate it freestyle.
2. Colour and decorate the wings. Kids can use felt tip pens, crayons, paints, stick on scraps of coloured tissue paper and other collage materials, or a combination of all of those! Just make sure they leave the rectangle in the middle undecorated.
If you plan to paint or collage the wings, I recommend printing the template onto cardstock as it will be sturdier.
3. Fold the sheet in half along the central dashed line, as shown in the photo.
4. Open up the paper and cut around the wings.
5. Fold the butterfly in half again as shown. The rectangular part is the body.
6. Fold the body up as shown, then back down. Turn over the butterfly and fold the body up and down again.
7. Open up the butterfly.
8. If you want to add a kebab stick, you need to fix it to the middle of the body at this point using sticky tape. You can also stick on some pieces of pipe cleaner for the antennae. However, you make the butterfly without a kebab stick or antennae if you prefer.
9. Put glue where indicated and stick the two halves of the body together. It’s a good idea staple along the body too.
10. You might also like to put some sticky tape on the join to make sure everything stays stuck together – remember that these butterflies are going to be flapping around like crazy!
11. If you want you can add more adornments to the wings at this point.
12. The Big Flapping Butterfly is finished and ready for some serious fluttering!
One of the best things about this craft is that there are so many beautiful ways kids can decorate it!
Collage with wrapping paper, tissue paper and stickers.
You could have kids try “symmetry” painting! They paint one half of the paper then fold it, pressing the other half on top. Opening up the paper reveals the symmetry effect.
Advice for small group classes:
This is an easy craft that takes about 20-30 mins to complete, depending on the age of your kids.
- Preschoolers will probably need help folding the body and some may need help cutting out the wings.
More SPRING & BUGS related resources:
SUBSCRIBE to our free newsletter for updates on all our new resources!
This is a free printable, but please read our FAQ for full info about how you can use our materials.