Toddler Butterfly Craft

spring craftsMy toddler is in the eating paper phase and the fling the paint phase. We are still having fun with paint but when we do my camera is safely on a shelf since I need two hands to wipe down the playroom walls. Today while her brother was at school we made this mess free butterfly craft with ribbons something she has no desire to eat or fling. If your toddler’s reaction to an activity frustrates you find a way to connect and create with them that doesn’t push your buttons. I say all the time how if we make the challenge too great for our kids they shut down and stop learning well it goes for us too. If I am frustrated I am not connecting with my child and getting angry about exploration serves no one. Don’t give up on the messy stuff (they need it) just try it again when you have the patience to deal with their exuberance.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some sturdy paper , contact paper , ribbons in your choice of colors , scissors and crayons.
  2. Have your child color the paper first. I forgot. For really little guys skipping this like I did is probably best, it’s another step that might make it too long. While they do that cut the ribbon.
  3. Fold your paper and cut out a butterfly shape.
  4. Cut out the middle.butterfly craft
  5. Peel the back off your contact paper and press your butterfly on sticky side up.bug theme for daycare
  6. Trim.
  7. Give the butterfly to your child. She just felt it for a minute or two. I just let her explore.bug craft
  8. Hand them the ribbon. She immediately started adding it to the butterfly.toddler easy crafts
  9. No need to help unless they seek it, every now and then I would say ” That’s a nice red ribbon.” or ” You found a yellow one.” but it wasn’t a constant dialog.
  10. They will let you know when they are done. Activity will slow, items may start finding the floor… just know that toddlers typically won’t spend long on a structured activity like this and don’t feel like you are doing anything wrong . We spent about 5 minutes total. This is her “done” she claps her hands once and says “un!”
  11. Put it up where your little one can see what they made and know you think it’s fantastic!


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      • Carolyn says

        From a kindergarten teacher:

        The fact that a toddler can’t stick with a project of this sort
        is totally NORMAL. It looks to me like the parents ae so anxious to do
        art projects, but the little ones aren’t ready for them. Please wait until
        they are preschool age. Parents and kids will enjoy it so much more!

        • Allison McDonald says

          Of course, it is normal but it is also normal for kids at this age to totally enjoy it just like my daughter did. I wasn’t nor have I ever forced any child to do any project. Many toddlers are totally into creating things and exploring the materials and many are not. Follow your child and their interests but don’t wait for some arbitrary age to explore creative materials.

  1. Lynda says

    I did this with my 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 year old the other day but I used clear contact paper and tissue paper then once they were done with the tissue paper I put another clear contact on the other side kinda like laminating it… hung in windows and looked gorgeous!!!

  2. Suzanne says

    I made this today with my 17 month old son. I didn’t have any ribbon so I let him tear up some colored tissue paper then he stuck that on the contact paper. It actually worked out really well, it gave him something fun to do & the light kind of comes through the paper when it’s in the window. He’s a very busy boy & I wasn’t sure this would hold his attention at all, but I got a few minutes out of him! It turned out really cute!

  3. Diana says

    Thank you for posting this and helping me feel that I’m not the only one that gets frustrated with the mess of certain activities. I always feel terrible and guilty by being a fun-sucker. I’m working on it though =)

    Awesome idea! Gonna try it out with the kiddos.

  4. Heather B. says

    Did this today with 2, 21 month olds and they both enjoyed it! Just changed the shape to a spider for Halloween and they put in shapes for the face. Great idea! Love your site, thanks for all the ideas!


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