It’s Monarch migration season- when 100 million monarch butterflies fly from Canada and the northern US south to Mexico for the winter. Learn more about monarch butterflies with these great resources. Kids: can you follow their migration path on a map? Why would butterflies (and some birds!) go south for the winter? When do you think they will migrate back north? In Texas this October, we’ve been seeing the voyagers pass through our garden to sip on some of our butterfly weed and lantana. Here is a cute and easy craft that even the little ones will enjoy as you learn about these fascinating creatures.
First, fold your paper in half. We had used computer paper, which was *not* the best choice being so thin! Have the kids draw with pencil half of a butterfly (though my son decided he wanted to do it freestyle).
We grabbed a glue that was not full, and mixed in black paint. Then, have your child use the black glue to go over the outline of the butterfly. They can also fill in the “veins” in the wings however they like.
It works best to keep the lines thin, because we then fold back over the paper to create the mirror image butterfly. If you’d like to keep the lines thin, don’t smash the 2 sides together all the way- doing so creates very thick lines. Either way, the butterfly outlines are striking- and I love the magic moment of opening up the paper and seeing how excited the kids get:).
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Once you have your completed, symmetrical butterfly, you will need to let it dry. We left ours overnight, but it was dry within a few hours.
Use water colors to fill in the wings and the background. We looked at pictures of monarch on-line to get ideas. We noticed that they have some white dots near the tips of the wings, and that the orange varies between light and dark.
The thick black lines contain the water colors well, and provide such a nice contrast. We decided to paint the background a single color to make the butterflies pop.
I wish I could have captured (in a photo!) the actual monarchs who were flying around our garden as we painted! I couldn’t have planned it better:). The kids decided that our butterfly art looked so realistic, that the real monarchs were coming to admire it. Didn’t they turn out well? If you decide to make one, send us a picture and we’ll feature it in our gallery!