Life cycles are so fun to explore with young, curious learners! It feels like a grand reveal when you show them a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis! This printable life cycle of a butterfly diagram brings the process to life and helps kids remember it. This versatile life cycle worksheet diagram can be used to introduce the cycle, to review the cycle, or as a visual aide to show the cycle as you teach each piece. Download the free printable today, it’s so easy!

Butterfly life cycle diagrams for kids.

Recommended Grade Level:

Life Cycle of a Butterfly Diagram:

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

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Learning the Life Cycle of a Butterfly in Preschool



Life cycle projects help children connect with nature, and they help them understand the world around them.

This stages of a butterfly life cycle activity is a great hands-on way to explore how a butterfly finds a mate and comes into the world. Since kids are already familiar with butterflies and typically have background knowledge, learning specific information about how a young butterfly becomes an adult butterfly is fascinating and real to students.

The life cycle stages included in the diagram mats are eggs, caterpillar, pupa stage, and butterfly (adult stage).

The set of life cycle mats includes 4 versions of a butterfly life cycle activity (in color and black and white):

  • Blank mat with circular arrows/squares and pictures/words to attach.
  • Blank mat with circular pictures and life cycle stage words to attach.
  • Blank mat with circular labeled squares and pictures without words to attach.
  • Blank mat with a row of squares and pictures with words to attach.

In addition to learning about butterflies, caterpillars and more, you can pose additional questions to young learners. Whether you are studying specifically the monarch butterfly life cycle, or butterflies in general, here are additional questions for thought:

  • How do caterpillars change as they develop?
  • What does the caterpillar need inside the pupa?
  • What is it called when an animal/insect changes throughout its development?
  • What are some species of butterflies?
Cut and paste the labels next to the pictures to complete the butterfly life cycle worksheet.

What Does A Life Cycle of the Butterfly for Kids Activity Teach?



You can use vocabulary and processes on the butterfly life cycle worksheet diagram to compare/contrast with other animals, plants, or insects.

  • Metamorphosis
  • Egg/larva/pupa/adult
  • Grow/change
  • Germination
Cut and paste the pictures and labels in order to show the stages of a butterfly life cycle.

Why Is It Important For Kids To Learn About Life Cycles?

Children are naturally curious about everything around them. Learning about life cycles of living things help them understand the world a little bit better.

Background Knowledge

Learning about life cycles is really the first step toward more complex science concepts, like the scientific process. Learning where female monarchs lay their eggs helps children make later connections to other insects laying eggs.

Connect with Nature

Depending on the species of butterfly you might study, learning about butterflies and moths help students connect with and understand their natural surroundings.

Understand Cycles

Many things in our world are cyclical: life, seasons, and weather are a few examples. Understanding basic monarch life cycles gives kids knowledge of general cycles.

Make Connections

Learning different life cycles, from milkweed plants to animals and insects, helps kids make deeper connections among them and relate it to themselves.

How To Use The Butterfly Life Cycle Diagram

How to Use the Butterfly Diagram

Step One:

Print the life cycle of a butterfly worksheet/diagram. There are two options: Color and Black and White.

Cut and paste butterfly life cycle worksheet in black and white.

Step Two:

Decide how you’d like to use the diagram. You can cut off the bottom cards and laminate, then add velcro dots to the boxes/cards to place and replace the stages over and over.

Cut and paste the pictures in order to show the life cycle of a butterfly.

Step Three:

If you would rather use it as a worksheet, just ask students to cut and glue the life cycle stages onto the mat.

Cut and paste the pictures next to the labels to show four stages of the butterfly life cycle.

Butterfly Crafts

Butterfly crafts are a colorful way to display the final result of the life cycle. Use died coffee filters and pipe cleaners, tissue paper, or watercolors to learn about color, symmetry, or traits.

Create a Book

Make a life cycle book with half sheets of paper and child illustrations/labels of each step in the life cycle of a butterfly.

Picture Matching

Give your child real-life life cycle pictures for butterflies and see if they can match them to these play dough life cycle cards.

Sensory Bin

Hide the life cycle stages cards in a butterfly themed sensory bin. Children can attach pictures/words to the diagram once they find them.

Have a Snack

A butterfly-themed snack is a great way to please hungry kiddos while still reviewing important concepts and vocabulary!

Play a Game

Continue learning about butterfly life cycles with a fun board game designed to engage and teach the stages of a butterfly’s life.

Printable life cycle of a butterfly diagrams.
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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.Β 

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