No matter what winter throws at us, it always feels like spring warrants a celebration! After long, sometimes gloomy days and often nasty weather, it’s time to enjoy more sunshine, more warmth, and the rebirth of insects, trees, grass, and more. And if you’re a preschool teacher, it’s time to witness life cycles right before our students’ wondering eyes!

– Life Over C's Butterfly Life Cycle Play Dough Mats

Recommended Grade Level:

Life Cycle of a Butterfly Play Dough Mats Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Laminating Supplies
  • Scissors
  • Dry Erase Marker
  • Play Dough

This life cycle of a butterfly activity is perfect! Teaching the 4 stage life cycle of a butterfly for preschool is a wonderful way to delve into science! Kids easily relate to butterflies and caterpillars, often with lots of previous background knowledge! The Life Cycle of a Butterfly Play Dough Mats for Kids really brings this concept to life! All you need to do is print and protect, then break out the play dough for kids!

– Life Over C's Overview of the Butterfly Life Cycle Play Dough Mats.

Preschool Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Your lesson plans will be bursting with life once you add all the exciting life cycle of a butterfly printables, activities, crafts, books, and other explorations.

As children create each stage on the playdough mats, talk about it! Introduce the vocabulary (leaf, eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly, flower). Practice the sentences on the mats, “I can make a…”

Encourage children to talk about where and when they have seen caterpillars or butterflies. Take them outside to hunt for leaves, eggs, caterpillars, butterflies, and flowers!

Share life cycle of a butterfly books for preschool, like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” by Eric Carle. Then, make your own class caterpillar by having each student paint a paper plate and assemble it. Add pipe cleaner antennae and legs.

How to Use the Free Printable Life Cycle of a Butterfly Playdough Mats

Preparing this fine motor skills play dough activity is the easiest part! Just print, cut the pages in half, and protect them by laminating or sliding them into plastic sleeves.

Then, add them into your life cycle of a butterfly lesson plans for preschool any way you want to! This fine motor activity will help develop hand-eye coordination, creativity, content-specific vocabulary, and more!

There are six playdough work mats: leaf, eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly, and flower. Each mat features a sentence, “I can make a leaf/eggs/caterpillar, etc.” In addition, there is a helpful template picture for children to model their play dough after (or build it right on top). Finally, each colorful mat has a more realistic picture of the life cycle stage.

Use store bought playdough or try a simple homemade playdough recipe that uses only a few ingredients mixed with boiling water.

– Life Over C's The butterfly life cycle play dough mat for a caterpillar.

Butterfly Life Cycle Crafts

Implementing the life cycle of a butterfly craft activities is another hands-on learning option for young learners.

  • Use different types of noodles/peas pasted onto a leaf to illustrate the stages: eggs (small peas), caterpillar (shell noodles), chrysalis (curly noodles), butterfly (bowtie noodles).
  • Color coffee filters with markers, then spray with water to blend the colors. Create colorful butterflies by gathering the center of the filter and securing with a pipe cleaner, or clip it with a clothespin.
  • Handprint butterflies are always a hit with parents because they document special childhood stages.
  • Egg carton caterpillars or butterflies are fun to paint and create!
  • Divide plates into fourths, then illustrate each stage of a butterfly’s life in each quadrant.
– Life Over C's The butterfly life cycle play dough mat for a butterfly.

Jack Hartmann Life Cycle of a Butterfly Video

YouTube video

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– Life Over C's Butterfly Life Cycle Play Dough Mats
– Life Over C's life cycle of a butterfly play dough mats
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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