I scoured the internet for fun, hands-on butterfly identification activities for kids…I found nothing! Yes, I found those beautiful butterfly identification posters and three part Montessori style cards, but nothing that I thought was developmentally appropriate for my young and very active boys. So i decided to make a resource packet full of creative and engaging activities that I knew my boys would love! Read on to see our giant butterfly identification chart, beautiful butterfly stick bouquet, outdoor butterfly fact scavenger hunt, and much more!
Giant Butterfly Identification Chart
This chart is really fun to create and looks beautiful when complete. Here’s how me made it:
- Print out the labels, butterflies, and poster from the packet.
- You can choose to skip this step, but I suggest laminating the pieces of paper if you want to try this activity multiple times. My boys were begging me to try it again as soon as they were finished so I highly recommend it! Plus you can reuse the laminated pieces for the activities below as well. That’s as huge timesaver!
- Cut out the labels and butterflies.
- Tape contact paper on the wall, sticky side out. Contact paper is an inexpensive material that has a decorative surface on one side and an adhesive material on the other side. The paper sticks to the desired surface with minimal effort. We just used white contact paper.
- We hung the butterfly poster above our chart for extra reference. I framed it with a document frame.
- Set the butterflies out on a table and invite your child to look carefully at the features on the butterflies and match them to the correct label. We talked about their colors, designs and wing shapes as my boys matched them.
- Do your kids have extra energy? Move the butterflies across the room and turn it into a movement activity!
- If you laminated the pieces, just peel them off and they are ready to go for the next activity.
Outdoor Butterfly Fact Scavenger Hunt
This activity not only focuses on butterfly identification but also helps your child learn more about various butterfly species. Here’s what we did:
- Print off butterflies, fact cards, and recording sheet of your choice from the packet. We printed off the butterfly checklist for my four year old and butterfly list for my six year old.
- First glue the butterflies to clothespins. Feel free to use the same cut out butterflies as the previous activity! I presented the butterflies a different way for this activity by cutting on the circle outline instead of the actual butterfly.
- Clip the butterflies around your yard before the activity.
- Once you finished that, put the recording sheets on clipboards, gather your fact cards, and start searching for the butterflies!
- As you find the butterflies, mark them on the recording sheet and read the three interesting facts on the card. This is a really fun way to move around and learn at the same time. Keep going until you find all ten!
- If its raining outside or you don’t have the outdoor space, you can always do this activity indoors!
Sensory Butterfly Identification Activities
These activities are guaranteed to keep your kids busy for a while!
For the sensory bin, I poured rainbow rice into our bin and added wooden pieces, glass gems, and various wooded scoops/sensory tools. I added the butterfly poster to encourage butterfly identification practice.
For the butterfly play dough tray, I added blue glass gems, pebbles, fake flowers, and play dough tools. We talked about the benefits of butterfly feeders and made one on the play dough tray!
For both activities, we talked about the colors, designs and wing shapes of the butterflies as they matched them to the poster.
Stick Butterfly Bouquet
This is another activity that can be enjoyed over and over again! We attached the butterflies on sticks with velcro dots so my boys loved peeling them off the velcro and sticking them in different spots. Without prompting, they discussed the butterfly attributes that we have been studying all week and shared their favorite butterflies with each other. It was exciting to watch them learn through play!
At one point, my boys started running around the house with their favorite butterfly stick and it got me thinking about all the different ways to enjoy this activity! Here’s a few more I thought of:
- Make a butterfly wand
- Make a butterfly hiking stick
- Make a Mother’s Day butterfly stick bouquet
Velcro Butterfly Stones
Check out this beautiful invitation to sort butterfly types! Here’s how we set it up:
- Print the butterfly labels and butterflies from the packet or reuse the butterflies if you tried a previous activity.
- Use the same velcro dots as the stick butterfly bouquet activity and put as many as you need on each stone.
- Put the other side of the velcro dots on the butterflies and place them on the table near near the labels.
- I didn’t give my boys any direction for the activity but they naturally started sorting them on their own. They were so excited to tell me the names of the butterflies and share a fact or two that they remembered from the outdoor scavenger hunt!
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I hope you give these fun activities a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.