Paper Towel Butterflies are easy to make, and provide a great opportunity for toddlers and preschoolers to observe and learn about water absorption.
I love that the internet is finally starting to fill up with spring crafts for kids. Flowers and rainbows and butterfly crafts are filling my newsfeed, and I am loving all the COLOUR!
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.
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- 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:
Cork-Stamped Button Flowers
Tissue Paper Butterflies
Colourful Tissue Paper Wreath
Fishy Fridge Magnets
Paper Plate Rocking Birds
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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.
Adorable! Summer would love these!
She’ll be making hers tomorrow, Steph! 🙂
Erin- The Usual Mayhem
These are so cute! I love them!
Oh, so cute!! I love them!! Pinned them so we can make some for our butterfly party this summer.
Sam @ Thrive 360 Living
These are such beautiful butterflies. They look like lovely watercolor paintings. I think they would look beautiful all placed on a painted canvas. Can’t wait to try this with my son.
I love when an invitation to explore turns into an adorable craft. Thanks for linking this post to Discover and Explore.
I hope you’ll be back to share for our Earth Day theme next week.
I have linked to this post in my new round-up of paper towel art. Thanks for the inspiration! http://craftulate.blogspot.com/2013/06/12-paper-towel-art-projects.html
Just wanted to share I did these with the residents at our AFC home. They turned out beautiful and a plus was learning to use your fingers to manipulate the dropper. The paper towel I used was obviously 2 ply since they separated, so they each did 1 large and 2 small butterflies.
It makes me so happy to hear that, Joyce. I love knowing that our activities can bring joy into the lives of adults as well as children.
Love this idea -just in time for my turn for activaty,next week ..definately using this idea
Just did this activity with my 2 and 4 year old boys – simple activity with little mess, and they loved it! Thank you for the idea ☺
I love these ideas because they don’t cost an arm & a leg like Legos do.