Paper Towel Butterflies

Mar 12, 2014

To make paper towel butterflies, I gathered plain white paper towels, a medicine dropper, food coloring, pipe cleaners (chenille stems) and tongue depressors (since we were planning to make puppets).  Small popsicle sticks (craft sticks) would also work well for this project.

In small plastic bowls, my daughter added drops of food coloring to water.  We found out that the more food coloring we used, the more vibrant the colors were.  Sophia also explored coloring mixing by combining yellow and red to make orange, yellow and blue to make green and red and blue to make purple.   

My daughter worked on developing her fine motor skills by learning to release the bulb in order to fill the dropper with liquid as well as trying to control the amount of drops she squeezed out.

Since we only used one dropper for this activity, I prepared a glass of water for my daughter to clean the dropper before using another color.

We placed two paper towels in a baking tray.  Two towels were needed to absorb the liquid.  And, using the baking tray made this activity very easy to clean up.  My daughter was completely amazed at how the drop of liquid spread. She also marveled at how the colors blended.

Once the paper towel had dried, I folded the paper towel like a fan and secured the center with a clothespin.  Sophia also practiced the fan folding technique on a few paper towels.

I removed the clothespin and wrapped a pipe cleaner around the center of the paper towel to create the thorax (body).  We curled the tips to make the butterfly antenna.  Finally, we manipulated the sides of the paper towel to create the wings.

We squeezed some glue down the center of the thorax on a few butterflies to make puppets.

We added the popsicle sticks and allowed them to dry.  

Once the glue was dry, my daughter was running all over the yard with her butterfly puppets.  What a beautiful way to celebrate a gorgeous spring day.

We had so many butterflies from this project that we decided to stick them on our window with blue tack.  The butterflies look so beautiful when the sun is shining through them.


More activities you might like

Sensory Stones
Bread Charms
Paper Towel Butterflies