Paper Towel Butterflies are easy to make, and provide a great opportunity for toddlers and preschoolers to observe and learn about water absorption.
Today I’m sharing 3 versions of a paper towel butterfly with you! We’ve used one of our favourite water absorption activities to make our butterflies’ wings. Have a look at what we’ve used to make our butterfly bodies, and choose the project that works for you!
I love that this activity is jam-packed with so much learning. It’s a fine motor activity, a science lesson, an art project and a spring craft all-in-one!
Be sure to check out our entire collection of easy butterfly crafts here. You’ll find ideas for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary kids and tweens.
- 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.)
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 also use liquid water colours for this type of project.
A preschool science lesson in water absorption
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.
*If you’re using food colouring, protect your work surface with a vinyl table-cloth or an old towel.
Let the fun begin!
The hooligans dropped, dabbed, and tapped until their paper towels and completely covered with dots of colour. During this part of the process, you and your child can observe and discuss colour-mixing, absorption and saturation.
When our paper towels were completely soaked, we placed them by the fire to dry. You can speed up the drying process with a hairdryer too!
Paper Towel Butterflies – 3 Ways
For the body of your butterfly, you have a few options to choose from:
- two bendy-straws
- a pipe cleaner
- a twist tie
Gather your paper towel, scrunching it together in the middle, to form your butterfly’s wings.
For the twist tie and pipe cleaner butterflies, simply wrap your twist tie or pipe cleaner 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.
Glue on a couple of googly eyes, and you’re done!
More Easy Spring Crafts for Preschoolers:
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.