On painted wings: Butterfly activities for kids

Butterfly activities for kidsThe joy of watching a butterfly fluttering in the summer sun is timeless. Something you can probably remembering doing as a child and something your own children undoubtedly enjoy. Young children simply marvel at their beauty, while older children can truly appreciate the miracle of the butterfly’s transformation from egg to caterpillar to butterfly.

This week, let’s learn about butterflies native to Michigan with some fun butterfly activities.

Get to know butterflies

While there are almost 20,000 species of butterflies in the world, only about 575 of these species are typically found in the United States. There are several species that are commonly found here in Michigan. These include the well-known monarch and many types of swallowtails, including the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

You and your child can learn more about butterflies native to Michigan by checking out a book at your local library or bookstore, or by visiting these web pages:

Now for the crafty part!

butterfly mobileButterfly mobile

Let’s make a butterfly mobile featuring butterflies native to Michigan.

Supplies are simple:

  • Paper plate
  • Yarn or string
  • Crayons or colored pencils (these work best since we’re coloring both sides)
  • Hole punch
  • Butterfly shapes (which you can easily print out from online templates or draw freehand)

Have your child color in four or five butterfly shapes using the same colors and patterns found on specific butterflies native to Michigan (remember to color both sides since the butterflies will be hanging). Then decorate the top and bottom of the paper plate. Punch holes in the paper plate and the top of the butterfly shapes. Using the yarn or string, hang the butterflies from the paper plate. Add another string to the middle of the plate so you can hang the mobile.

Now you’ve created a super cute mobile featuring the butterflies of Michigan!

Butterfly lunch

No…we’re not going to eat butterflies!

Change up your standard sandwich and create a butterfly. It’s easy! Just make whatever sandwich your child enjoys. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut the sandwich into four heart shapes. Use a carrot stick for the body and smaller carrot slices for the antennae. You can make eyes out of black olives or a mini marshmallow with chocolate chips on top. It’s a fun way to keep with the butterfly theme and make lunch a little more exciting.

Don’t miss your chance to win a Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden starter kit from Prairie Moon Nursery, valued at $112!

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brendon weilBrendon Weil is a Lean Coach at the University of Michigan Health System.  In his role as a Lean Coach, Brendon helps us improve the way we care for patients every day by focusing on opportunities to impact safety, effectiveness, patient-centered care, timeliness, efficiency, and equitable care without regard to gender, ethnicity, geography or socioeconomic status.


best children's hospitalUniversity of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital is consistently ranked one of the best hospitals in the country. It was nationally ranked in all ten pediatric specialties in U.S. News Media Group’s “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” and among the 10 best children’s hospitals in the nation by Parents Magazine. In December 2011, the hospital opened our new 12-story, state-of-the-art facility offering cutting-edge specialty services for newborns, children and women.