Here’s a way to celebrate spring with a butterfly craft for preschoolers. It uses a simple technique that kids love – painting on coffee filters with watercolors! I’ll share a few tricks for setting this craft up and making it extra fun.
If you’re a teacher, you’ll like that this butterfly craft uses inexpensive materials and is easy to make with a larger group of children. You just need to prep ahead – which is easy and quick once you’ve done the first one or two.
- Coffee filter
- Liquid watercolors
- Paintbrush for each paint color
- Paper towels
- Washi tape, or pompoms
You’ll be cutting up coffee filters to make the butterfly wings. I’m probably over-explaining this step – it’s simple, but seems to take a lot of photos to be clear….
Start by folding the filter into eights.
Then cut out a half heart shape, using the edge that is completely folded as the center of the heart. For the outside edge, do not completely cut off the fold.
Leave a little bit so the hearts stay connected. It will look like this when you open it back up:
Next, cut it apart so you have two double hearts.
Then, fold the double hearts back together. Trim one lobe of the heart to make it lopsided. Unlike the picture below, don’t cut off the fold holding the hearts together. Keeping them together will make it easier for your kids to handle.
Now you’re ready to set up the painting area. Set out small containers of liquid watercolors. I use homemade ones, but you could also use store-bought ones. In a pinch, you could also use the dried type, but they won’t be as vibrant.
To keep kids from mixing up colors, provide one cheap paintbrush per color. Lay out a doubled-over paper towel as a painting surface.
Butterfly Craft Instructions
Paint the coffee filter with the watercolors. Use enough paint that it absorbs through both layers. That way the pattern will be symmetrical on both butterfly wings.
Meanwhile, decorate a clothespin. You can cover it with washi tape (don’t wrap over the end of the clothespin – it will stand up better bare). Or, glue pompoms to it.
When the coffee filters are dry, separate the lopsided hearts. Then, flip one so that the two together resemble butterfly wings. Clip them together with the clothespin.
You may want to glue the wings to the clothespin.
Stand the butterflies up to admire …
Or make them fly…