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Weekend (Science) Fun: Coffee Filter Butterfly

Looking for something fun to keep the kids busy indoors? How about some butterfly crafts? They are pretty and fun to do. Although butterflies may not seem to be in keeping with the season, sometimes we just need a reminder that summer is on the way. 🙂

Our tried-and-true favorite craft is making a coffee filter butterfly.

Gather:

  • Basket-style coffee filters
  • Markers (not permanent)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water
  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Large paper clips
  • Chenille stems (pipe cleaners)
  • Yarn (optional)

Lay some newspapers or paper towels on a waterproof work surface to prevent marker stains. Have the children color on the coffee filter with the markers. Then lightly “paint” over the marker with water. The colors should spread together. Allow the coffee filters to dry while you read a favorite story about butterflies. Then find the middle of one side of the coffee filter and start to feed the filter into the paperclip. Gather the center into the paperclip, forming a body. In the past I had used chenille stems (pipe cleaners), but found the paper clip forms a more stable body that allows for the attachment of the antennae, which is piece of chenille stem (pipe cleaner) twisted on. You can also attach a fairly long piece of yarn (1 ½ or two feet) so the butterfly can hang in front of a window or “fly” along behind a child. You might want to make a whole bunch.

coffee filter butterfly

By the way, did you know chenille is French for caterpillar? Seems appropriate.

If you want to add some science, take a look at some pictures of butterflies. Notice that butterflies often have spots or patterns at the edges of the wings. Some people have suggested that those spots help protect the butterfly because they entice birds to peck at the margins of the wings, allowing the butterfly to escape.

gulf fritillary

If you are ready for more, Enchanted Learning has a lot of butterfly crafts for the younger set.

For the older set, this video might give you some ideas.

Paperstudio.com making paper butterflies

Hope this gives you some good ideas. Enjoy!

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