Butterfly Life Cycle Paper Plate Craft for Kids

butterfly life cycle craft

This is the best time of the year to learn about the life cycle of butterflies.  You can find plenty of caterpillars crawling and butterflies fluttering around during spring.

Caleb’s VPK teacher has a beautiful butterfly garden at her home. She sent us updates on the progress of her butterflies transformation from the beginning stage. It’s amazing to watch them grow from a tiny egg to a colorful butterfly. Caleb’s godparents ordered him a butterfly garden growing kit a few weeks ago. It’s perfect for children 3 and older. We currently have three butterflies and two still in the chrysalis stage.
I saw so many different versions of the butterfly life cycle craft on Pinterest and decided to go with the one over at Buggy and Buddy. I love how it’s so colorful and shows all the stages.  This butterfly life cycle paper plate craft for kids will help them understand how caterpillars become butterflies. Hope you enjoy making this with your family!
featured image for butterfly life cycle craft for kids


  • Paper plate
  • Acrylic paint
  • Foam brush
  • Black marker
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Small pom poms (white)
  • Tissue paper (green for the chrysalis and any other colors you want for your butterfly)
  • Green construction paper or cardstock
  • White construction paper or cardstock
  • Pipe cleaners (brown for the chrysalis, black for the butterfly and any other colors for the caterpillar)


  1. Use the acrylic paint and brush to paint the entire paper plate. Let it dry.
  2. Cut out a circle from the white paper and glue it in the center of your paper plate.
  3. Draw a black “X” on the circle so you have four equal sections.
  4. For the eggs: Cut out a small leaf from the green construction paper/cardstock. Draw lines on it to resemble leaf veins. Glue several white pom poms in the middle of the leaf. Glue the leaf onto one of the sections.
    picture instruction for the eggs
  5. For the caterpillar: Choose two different colored pipe cleaners to use for your caterpillar. Cut the pipe cleaners so they are each 6 inches long. Twist the two pipe cleaners together. Wrap the twisted pipe cleaners around a pencil then slide it off. Glue it onto the section next to the eggs.
    picture instructions for caterpillar
  6. For the chrysalis: Cut a small rectangle of green tissue paper. Twist the top and bottom of the rectangle to form a chrysalis shape. Glue it to the brown pipe cleaner (2.5 inches) then attach it to the paper plate in the section next to the caterpillar.
    picture instructions for chrysalis
  7. For the butterfly: Choose two colors of tissue paper to use for your butterfly wings. Cut them into small squares. Cut a black pipe cleaner so it’s 2.5 inches long. Scrunch up the center of both pieces of tissue paper and twist your black pipe cleaner around it. Glue the butterfly onto the last section of the paper plate.
    picture instruction for butterfly
  8. Use the black marker to title each section of the life cycle: eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly.
butterfly life cycle paper plate craft for kids
butterfly life cycle paper plate craft for kids
butterfly life cycle paper plate craft for kids
butterfly life cycle paper plate craft for kids

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