Art is MAGIC!

This activity is a staple of early childhood classrooms and sometimes I get the feeling that people consider it way too simple of a project BUT…do you know how many skills you can focus on doing something so simple?

Watch the short video ( it’s actually less than a minute) at my YouTube channel –

Making butterflies using paint and paper is easy and beautiful, here are a few tips that always work for me –

Finger paint paper works best BUT, you can use just about any kind of paper that can hold up to paint. Fold your paper in half first, to get a crease.

Remember to use paint that is not too heavy a consistency, tempera paint works really well.

Lining up your paint close to the middle crease gives you a better chance of getting the image of wings.

You can actually feel the paint under your fingers as you spread it out, be sure to point that sensory experience out to your students.

Be prepared to have some spillage out of the top or bottom of your paper!

Make as many as you like until you get the shape you love.

Here are just a few themes and core subjects you can introduce and explore with this very simple project –

Color Theory – this project is a wonderful way to introduce and teach younger students about secondary and tertiary colors, tones, tints and shades. You can even experiment with warm and cool colors.

Symmetry – the obvious math connection. Try adding spots of colors further away from the center of the folded paper to create symmetrical patterns.

Fractions – you are folding your paper in half, what happens if you fold it in quarters? I’ve never tried.

Scale – if you’re a teacher, like me, you’ve noticed how children tend to draw tiny figures no matter what size the paper is. This is a really good way to have them create larger artwork. Little hands get tired, paint fills in larger spaces quickly with a project like this one.

Science – as the largest moth in the world, the Atlas moth’s wingspan can be up to 12 inches across! Making this butterfly the same size, really gives us a sense of the size and scale that can be found in the animal kingdom.

Keep creating!


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