Butterfly Inspired STEAM

Butterflies are essential pollinator friends in our ecosystem that add to the biodiversity of any garden. When it comes to butterfly STEAM, this paper project is one of my favourites because of its simplicity and large scale beauty! These butterflies can stand alone as an art display, or accentuate and enhance any nature themed bulletin board in your school. If you are undertaking a study of butterflies, be sure to plant some butterfly friendly flowering perennials in your school yard. Here is my related post: How To Plant A Butterfly Garden.

First we chose a piece of paper representative of the final size we wanted our butterfly to be and discussed the mathematical concept of symmetry, and the mind boggling feat of intergenerational migration, while studying the many colours and features of butterflies. Once a design was chosen, students sketched out their butterfly and filled in the image using oil pastels.

butterfly steam

Next, children were instructed to wad up their artwork into a tight ball which, as you can imagine, brought a range of emotions from delight to terror at scrunching up their beautiful art!

butterfly steam

When the paper was smoothed out, the children could see the butterfly now had texture and a sense of 3 dimensionality that was not there before:

butterfly steam

The next step was to wash over the artwork with a tempura paint wash in whichever colour the child preferred. The paint resists the oil pastels and dries in a magical way over the crinkled paper, giving the butterfly even more of a life like appearance! Paper towel can be used to dab away any excess paint with a desirable mottled effect.

butterfly steam

The art was left to dry for a day or two and then cut out so only the butterfly remained. By attaching on the edges of the butterfly to the bulletin board and pushing the ends together, there is a 3-D effect on the walls:

butterfly steam

To support you in your butterfly inquiry, I’ve collected a number of amazing resources from my blogger friends. I hope you find them useful and inspiring!

Butterfly Crafts

Check out this quintessential coffee filter butterfly craft by Fire Flies & Mud Pies

These laminated butterflies can live in your garden all summer by Blue Bear Wood

This lovely stained glass butterfly craft can live out in the garden by Here Come The Girls

Try this popsicle stick butterfly craft by Growing Up Gabel

These lovely origami butterflies from Red Ted Art are beautiful

These woven stick butterflies are simply gorgeous by The Craft Train

These butterflies made from loose parts found in the garden are lovely by Mother Natured

These fingerprint butterfly magnets would make a lovely gift for mother’s day by Messy Little Monster 

This butterfly sun catcher is gorgeous by Adventure in a Box

Butterfly Play

Make a butterfly net by The Wise Owl Factory

DIY fairy butterfly wings by What’s Up Fagans

Enjoy hours of fun with this butterfly sensory bin by Living Montessori Now

Make these adorable butterfly peg dolls by Rhythms of Play

I recommend this butterfly set for hours of imaginative play

Butterfly STEAM

Build a butterfly feeder by Share It Science

Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly from Buggy & Buddy

Make these butterfly inspired snacks by Rubber Boots & Elf Shoes

Check out this hands on butterfly symmetry from Mama. Papa. Bubba.

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