Butterfly Projects, Raising Live Butterflies - Ideas/Projects for Easter/Resurrection

This is "The Butterfly Forum"

This thread preserves member discussion about raising live butterflies as an Easter project using Phyllis Wezeman's "Butterfly Curriculum" linked below.

Several members posted very complimentary things to say about the book and project. You are welcome to add your insights, resources, and experiences related to this project and lesson.

We've also appended artistic Butterfly Project Ideas to this discussion. Your Butterfly crafts/art, and lessons welcome here.



Add your ideas to this subject by using the "Post Reply" button below.

Original Post

Just thought I'd let you know that we released about 25 swallowtail butterflies yesterday (Palm Sunday). Fortunately, the teacher who took this project on LOVES bugs! The whole congregation gathered after church for coffee hour and the main attraction was the children's butterflies. This was a very cool science rotation for Easter. I ordered the kit from Livebugs.com and I highly recommend it for future church use. Thanks for the help!

We got butterflies from a company called Insect Lore, www.insectlore.com last Easter. We ordered the kit than came with a reusable butterfly sanctuary so we just order the larvae each year from now on. The kids really enjoyed watching the hatching process last year. We're going to do it again this year so that we can continue with the idea of new life. I appreciate the idea about featuring the growing butterflies during coffee hour, that's a great idea. I highly recommend this company for purchasing. They send everything ready for Easter release and they have good customer service and help.

Phyllis Wezeman's curriculum, "From Caterpillar to Cocoon to Butterfly" can be found at: http://leaderresources.org/cat...oon-butterfly-e-book

It is curriculum that you download from this site for a cost.
The project is wonderful and well worth the price.

Thank you for the info, Phyllis!

Posted by Terri K

I need hundreds of colorful butterflies for an Easter activity (on Easter). Want most of them to be fairly "normal" size I think, or just not too big. I'll attach them to fishing line or even yarn and string across the ceiling. Other large ones can go on walls, or other butterfly type items could work as table decorations.

Will be made by kids age 3 through middle school, or maybe some even done by adults.

In other words.. I could use ANY butterfly ideas you have! Thanks!

Posted by Jan FPC Napa

One for the younger kids is to use springy type clothespins for the body with a pipe cleaner twisted on one side of the open end for antennas and glue on decorated constuction paper wings. They can then be clipped onto anything.

Posted by Terri K

Wondering if anyone has seen butterflies made from feathers? Browsing through the craft store I found already made butteflies made from feathers, just wondering if anyone had ever made them. Thanks!

Posted by Julie burton

Hi Terri! A great resource is Things To Make & Do for Lent & Easter by Martha Bettis Gee. She has ideas for butterflies, banners, etc. There are 4 books in this series and they have been helpful to me.

One thing that's fun to do is "hatch" butterflies. A company called Insect Lore in California will send Painted Lady larvae. (about $40, I think). In about 3 weeks the caterpillars will turn into butterflies. It's a neat thing to do, and if you time it right they will burst out of their cocoons on Easter. We did this a few years ago and released the butterflies after worship. It was waaaaaay cool. And since the butterfly is a resurrection symbol, that makes it even more special.

Posted by Terri K

oh man! I didn't even think of her book, I almost bought it at APCE. She taught a class on creative activities for the liturgical year that was SOOOO good. Thanks!

Posted by Viajera

For hanging butterflies:

  1. you can also use colored tissue paper, a rectangle large enough to scrunch in the middle with a pipe cleaner body,
  2. use coffee filters, fold them as much as possible, dip corners in food coloring, let dry, then cut into a basic butterfly shape, and add the pipe cleaner or clothespin body
  3. these won't work as well for hanging, but we have many Easter banners with felt butterflies. Use the basic felt square and precut a butterfly shape, provide precut small felt shapes (teardrops and circles are best and can be cut from the scraps) glitter, and sequins, teach that in nature the designs on butterflies are symmetrical (be sure to explain that the line of symetry runs vertically through the body) - have at least one example ready - we use this to show that God provides an order and plan that at times we may not even be aware of until we look more closely. The butterflies can be completed with a felt strip for a body and of course pipe cleaner antennae. These look very festive all over our sanctuary. About every other year we add more, each Easter the kids look for their butterflies and share memories!


Posted by Marsha

Have the children trace their open hands on construction papaer.Make two sets per butterfly. This becomes the wings. Put the top set upward and the other facing downward.Take their shoe and trace around it for the body. Attach pipe cleaners to the top. Attach everything to a toilet paper roll,so they can 'fly'. We have used this idea many times. Hope this helps!

Posted by WAM

Great butterfly craft is to take round-basket-style (not cone) coffee filters, dampen the filters (damp, not wet), flatten them out, and have the kids paint them by putting just dollops of paint at a time ont he filter. Great to see how all the colors blend together. This works from youngest to oldest. Dry the filters in front of fan and use pipe cleaners to scrunch the middle so they look like butterflies.

Posted by Ruth Wilcox

Lent Idea:
Make butterfly refrigertor magnets from craft foam (we cut the bodies from black foam) and let the kids decorate with flourescent or glittery/metallic markers. Use pieces of magnetic tape on the back. We had the kids make 2; one to take home, one to leave to be "adopted" by a member of the congregation. Terms of "adoption" were that the adult promised to pray daily for the maker of the butterfly for the next year.

Posted by Mitchell's mom

We also made butterfly prayer magnets, but we took digital pictures of the children's faces and attached them to the butterfly with a pipe cleaner. They were adorable!!!

Posted by CathyW

You can tie the butterfly into Jesus' death and resurrection by making the butterfly from a cross and 3 hearts. The cross forms the body of the butterfly. You then talk about what the cross means. Then you pick up the hearts and talk about God's love for us in sending His son to die for us. You take 2 large hearts of the same size and attach them to the arms of the cross with their points touching. This forms the butterfly wings. You can place a smaller heart at the top of the cross for the butterfly face. 

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Thanks for the great ideas.  Our Sunday School on Easter Sunday is a little different.  Usually it does not take place at all!  THIS YEAR IT WILL!  Instead of rotating each Sunday, Easter the children will rotate through 4 "stations".  Will post pictures and stations after Easter.  Happy Easter!

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