5 Fantastic Butterfly Activities for Kids!

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the classic children’s picture book The Hungry Little Caterpillar and to celebrate this  and the official start of spring, I’ve put together five fun butterfly activities for kids for you to enjoy together.

  • Plant a Monarch habitat

The Monarch population is dwindling but you can help restore its habitat by planting milkweed – the only plant on which the Monarch will lay its eggs – in your backyard. MonarchWatch.org has a list of American and Canadian seed suppliers that sell milkweed seeds and plants. Schools and non-profits can even apply to get a free flat of 32 plugs with milkweed, plus instructions for how to create a monarch habitat.

  • Raise a butterfly and release it

Watching the metamorphosis of a caterpillar is a wonderful and hands-on way for children to learn about the life cycle of butterflies. Plus, by releasing the butterflies once they’ve emerged from their chrysalises, you’re contributing to the local butterfly population! There are many types of kits available online; for U.S. residents Outdoor Toy Boutique offers up to seven species of butterflies. Have your child record the caterpillars’ transformation with this free printable from Kathys Cluttered Mind.

5 Fantastic Butterfly Activities for Kids + a Giveaway. Rain or Shine Mamma

  • Make a butterfly feeder

The simplest way to make a butterfly feeder is to use a rimmed plate and suspend it from a tree using strings, or put it on a platter filled with water, to keep ants out. Fill it with old, mushy fruit, like pears, bananas, peaches or water melon – the more colors the better. If you’re feeling crafty, you can make a more permanent feeder that requires less maintenance. I love this mason jar feeder from BrightNest.

  • Become a citizen scientist

Many Monarch butterflies are infected with a parasite that makes it difficult for them to fly and often kills them.  You can help track the spread of this disease (which does not infect humans) by collecting samples from wild butterflies and sending them in to a lab. This is a great science project for an older child – check out how one family did it at The Educator’s Spin On It.

  • Make butterfly pancakes

Finally, how about some yummy, butterfly-inspired pancakes to go with all those activities? These, from Nothing If Not Intentional, are both cute and healthy!

5 Fantastic Butterfly Activities for Kids + a Giveaway. Rain or Shine Mamma

15 thoughts on “5 Fantastic Butterfly Activities for Kids!

  1. Shaunna says:

    We raised and released butterflies at home last year. It was such a wonderful experience for all of us. We can’t wait to do it again this year. Great resources, and I love the Outdoor Toy Boutique.

  2. Becky says:

    We love the Oasis Garden at Outdoor Toy Boutique…wanting to expand kid vegetable gardening opportunities in our own backyard. We’ve got native plants and other landscaping plants, but need to squeeze in some veggies and herbs this summer! (We’ve got Painted lady host plants and watch caterpillars grow every summer!)

  3. Mommy Hiker says:

    We just visited the Monarch Butterfly Grove in Pismo Beach a few months ago and our 3 year old was mesmerized by the docent who was there showing the kids their life cycle! From caterpillar eggs to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. It was so cool! (Those fossils at OutdoorToyBoutique.com are pretty amazing, too!)

  4. Carla G. says:

    Lots of great options on the website! I think we’d like one of the ziplines! Our oldest is 9 1/2 and wants a little more adventure outside now. Plus, grandma and grandpa live at the bottom of the hill. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a zipline to their house?

  5. K8 says:

    Love the butterfly activities and would love to win the set. We would really like to have a swing set in our backyard, but not sure it’s in the budget.

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