Paper towel butterflies (3 versions) – an adorable and simple Spring craft!
We do this activity at least once every year here our daycare because it’s aways popular no matter how old or young the children are.
- food colouring or liquid water colours
- paper towels
- an ice-cube tray (or individual bowls)
- instruments for dropping the coloured water (paint brushes, droppers etc.)
For your convenience, I’m including Amazon Affiliate links to some of the products in this post:
I mixed up my food colouring and water and filled an ice-cube tray so the Hooligans would have a variety of colours to work with. You can use liquid food colouring for this, but I love use Wilton Icing gels. The colours are really vibrant, and a little goes a long way. We can go through a bottle of liquid food colouring in a couple of activities, whereas our icing gels last us for years.
You can also use liquid water colours for this type of project. The Chocolate Muffin Tree demonstrates them here, and you can , and you can get yourself some through the above link. I’m ordering a set!
Painting the wings:
Each child received a paper towel, and I set out a variety of instruments for them to transfer the coloured water to their paper towels: stir-sticks, pipettes/droppers and paint brushes.
**Because you’re working with food colouring, be sure to protect your table with a vinyl table-cloth or an old towel if staining is a concern.
The hooligans dropped, dabbed, and tapped until their paper towels and completely covered with splotches of colour. This activity presents an opportunity to learn about colour mixing, and we talk about absorption and saturation.
When the paper towels were completely soaked, we placed some by the fire to dry, and I took a hair dryer to a couple of them.
Making the butterflies:
I wanted to give you a few options for the body of your butterflies. You can use any of the following:
- two bendy-straws
- a pipe cleaner
- a twist tie
Gather your paper towel, scrunching it together in the middle, to form your “wings”.
For the twist tie and pipe cleaner butterflies, simply wrap your twist tie/pipecleaner around the middle of the wings, twist to secure, and shape the antennae.
For the bendy-straw butterfly, stick the straws together with some tape or hot glue, and use a twist tie to secure the wings to the straws.
Wouldn’t these be cute hanging in a sunny window?
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