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Flapping Paper Butterfly Craft

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Today I have a fun little Paper Butterfly Craft or science activity to go along with one of my favorite books, A Butterfly is Patient written by Dianna Aston and Illustrated by Long. This is a wonderful book and activity for the spring season!

Flapping paper Butterfly craft that moves

If you haven’t read this book yet, I highly recommend it!  We love it, as well as the other books in the series. They are beautiful, and educational.

butterfly is patient

This cute and easy paper butterfly craft actually moves and flaps its wings! Kids adore making these and they go great with an insect unit or butterfly lesson.  These are fun paper butterflies to make and will only need a small amount of guidance as kids are making them, depending on their ages. Read on for the tutorial of how to make them!

How to Make the Flapping Butterfly Paper Craft


Supplies for the Paper Butterfly:

butterfly craft supplies

To make this easy craft, you will need a print-out of my Flapping Butterfly Craft Template, some scissors and tape and two plastic straws with different diameters. One straw needs to fit inside of the other one. I used regular straws and smoothie straws. It can be done with paper straws, too if you can find them in two widths.

Step-By-Step Instructions to Make the Flapping Paper Butterfly:

making butterfly craft

Print and color the paper butterfly with markers, crayons or colored pencils. It’s fun to make butterflies that are a few different colors. Or, let them copy the patterns of a real butterfly. Most importantly, let them use their own creativity.

You will need to do a little cutting for this paper butterfly craft. If you have young kids who are beginners to cutting, you may need to help them cut the butterfly wings and antennae.

Cut a small slit in the middle of the butterfly. You may need to make small creases in the center of the butterfly to make this cut.

cutting straws for butterfly craft

Cut a slit in the skinnier straw- about an inch long. Slide it through the cut in the bat and bend outward. Tape to secure on the front.

butterfly craft that moves


Cut the bigger straw down a bit smaller. I cut off about 1/3 of the straw. Then cut a slit in it about half way up the straw.

cutting straws for flapping butterfly

Slide it over the top of the smaller straw and bend out the cut sections. Tape at the ends only to secure.

flapping butterfly STEM craft

Your simple butterfly craft is ready to go now.  Slide the larger straw back and forth to flap the wings!

Butterfly Science activity

My kids had lots of fun with the flapping butterflies!  My daughter colored and helped me with this one and she loves playing with it!

insect lesson idea

Download the Free Butterfly Template.

This printable template has three different sets of wings!

We also made some Flapping Bats for Halloween. Check them out!

flapping bat stem

See Also:
Butterfly Life Cycle Mobile
Mapping Animal Migrations
Printable Paper Insect Display
Water Striders: Insect Science
Insect Hotel: Nature Science


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