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Butterfly and Cocoon

Make a beautiful butterfly and its cocoon!

Skill Level: Moderate
Time Needed: 1 hour
Age(s): 5 to 9

Supplies Needed


  1. Create a pair of butterfly wings out of tissue paper. Decorate the wings with Elmer's 3D Washable Paint Pens™. Let the paint dry completely.
  2. Decorate a cardboard tube with Elmer's Squeeze 'n Brush® paint colors. Let the paint dry completely.
  3. Glue the butterfly wings to a craft stick. Attach pipe-cleaner antennae and a pair of Jiggly Eyes with glue. Let the glue dry completely.
  4. Overlap the butterfly's wings and insert the butterfly into its cocoon!

Teaching Tips:

  • Use this project to introduce the subject of life cycles. Discuss how a butterfly matures from an egg to a caterpillar (larva) to a pupa (chrysalis) to an adult butterfly. Introduce the vocabulary word metamorphosis. Have students draw pictures of the butterfly's life cycle. Then, discuss other animals that have life cycles, such as the frog.
  • Butterfly or Moth? Talk with students about the differences between a moth and a butterfly. Although they look alike, moths and butterflies are very different. Butterflies fly during the day, have smooth bodies and brightly colored wings, and rest with their wings straight out from their bodies. How does a moth differ from this?
  • Discuss the Monarch butterfly. This butterfly flies from the nothern to the southern United States at the end of the summer. Ask students to point out the Monarch's voyage on a classroom map or globe. Estimate the total distance that a Monarch travels during its migration period.