Make Paper Butterflies with Kids

In the Colors of Fall

By Connie Goldin, LMFT


Make these lovely butterflies from large-size coffee filters, wooden clothes pins, using different sorts of markers, watercolors, and tempera paint sticks.

Here in San Diego, we still have butterflies flitting about. I have Monarch and yellow Sulphur butterflies in my yard, now, November 10th. A few weeks ago, big Swallowtail butterflies with their distinct flying style were checking out my colorful bougainvillea. It’s hot here, today. We have a weather pattern called a Santa Ana, where temperature rises and winds blow in from the desert in the east to the ocean in the west. We don’t have much wind, but yesterday the temperature reached almost 100 degrees on the usually cool coast.

As soon as it starts to get cold, the butterflies will disappear for a few months as they go dormant. Around March, they will start to reappear. Many of my neighbors and myself, plant the magical Milkweed plants which attracts many butterflies. For the Monarch, it is life giving–The females lays a small yellow egg on the underside of a Milkweed leaf. When it hatches, a tiny green and black caterpillar emerges to feast on the plant. It’s the only plant a Monarch caterpillar eats. Next stage is a wonderful green chrysalis that the big fat caterpillar has created to make its transformation into a butterfly. All of this is a wonderful show that neighborhood kids keep me informed of.

Butterfly Supplies

Tip: Use a Zip Lock Bag to color clothes pins. Add clothes pins with about 1 cup water and a few squirts of food coloring. Manipulate bag to ensure all pins are covered. In ten minutes or less they are tinted. Pour into a strainer, then dry on a dish rack. Use large size paper coffee filters for beautiful butterflies.



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