Butterfly Scale Craft

Thinking of the visual arts in early childhood education can initially evoke an image of a child standing at an easel, thick stubby paint brush in hand with bright acrylic poster paint spreading quickly across the page.

However, research has shown the visual arts to be a rich domain through which young children can explore and represent their experiences, think through and deepen their working theories, and develop their creative thinking.

It is through the visual arts that children learn about the symbolic systems of representation and communication valued by their communities.

For this activity, we used tissue paper to create butterfly wings.

These fascinating creatures (butterflies) have beautiful wings made of chitin and scales.

Students glued each “scale” (or tissue paper) to construction paper along with their friends!

Bugs in the Sand

For this activity, students strengthened their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and bilateral abilities by engaging in the fun fine motor project.

Using tweezers, a net, toy bugs, and an observation jar students practiced picking up small items and transferring them to another location.

This incorporates the physical development domain. 

Counting Wings

Butterfly wings are made up of thin layers of proteins called chitin.

They are supported by a system of tubular veins that allow for oxygen exchange.

The wings are then covered by an intricate system of scales that give butterflies their unique color and pattern variations.

To learn both about butterfly wings (and to incorporate our math domain) your little ones placed “scales” onto three different butterfly cut-outs.

The scales were represented by glass jewels and numbers we counted were ten, eleven (our number of the week), and twelve. 

Monarch Butterfly Release

Many preschools make the mistake of providing strictly academic experiences that entail pencils and worksheets. While this may be appropriate for school-age children, preschoolers suffer greatly when only allowed traditional tutelage. This is why learning through play is so important.

Unlike older children, little ones are incapable of abstract thought. Things like recognizing symbols and numbers must come from three-dimensional activities. Worksheets do not offer that. This is why most of our activities are hands-on. For this activity, one of our students brought in cocoons of REAL Monarch butterflies! We read all about this fascinating creature with a fun, interactive book and then gazed upon the interesting cocoons. One of the butterflies was ready for release so we let him go in our back playground. Such an amazing experience!

Bingo Dauber Butterflies

Bingo daubers are great tools of the preschool classroom.

These chunky ink makers are perfect for little hands to grab.

For our two different groups, they help with letter formation, number marking, coloring, and creating art!

This activity entailed placing small dots onto a butterfly printout.

Using a variety of colors, students enjoyed creating and adding life to their illustrations!