Did you see my Math Art Blog Post? The boys and I made beautiful flowers using a weaving technique.
While they were nice and simple to make, they were not toddler simple. Not preschooler simple either.
I really like giving my children crafts and activities they can truly do independently. A bit of support is fine as it helps them to progress to the next stage of their development of course, but I don’t want to be doing the craft for them!
I wanted to find a similar project that Norah could take part in as the boys made their math flowers. Little Norah is 2 years old, and after being taught how to wrap the yarn, she could truly do this butterfly craft all on her own.
Here is the PERFECT toddler or preschooler version of that math art craft:
Just before we dive into this toddler craft, I thought I might share with you my Toddler Program, Playful Days. One beautiful craft or activity every day to create lasting memories, break up those long days, and make your life easier!
I hope you love it!
Oh! And be sure to grab this Rainbow Puzzle Activity Pack to enjoy with your toddler as well—a free gift from me to you:
This is such a “Math Art” activity. We learned all about symmetry as we painted the butterfly wings, and we practiced patterning with big arm and hand movements as we wrapped the butterflies body.
Let me share with you how we made this adorable Toddler Butterfly Craft!
For this Butterfly Craft, you will need:
- toilet paper roll or paper towel roll
- optional: pipecleaner for the antennae and googly eyes
Begin by folding a piece of paper in half. With little artists, I like to keep the paper folded in half as they paint so the paint stays just on one half.
Have your toddler or preschooler (or big kid!) paint their hearts out. Keep adding more paint as the paint needs to stay wet for the ‘smoosh’ part.
Once they are happy with their painting, fold the blank half of the paper onto the painted half of the paper and press it down. Have your child help you press and smoosh that paint!
Open it up to reveal a symmetrical painting! You can take a few moments to marvel at this with your little one, noting how everything on one side has been pressed onto the other side.
Set your painting aside and allow it to dry.
In the meantime, get your toilet paper roll (or trimmed paper towel roll) and put a strip of glue or double-sided tape along one side.
John bought double-sided tape for a project around the house and I tell you, I can’t believe we have never crafted with this stuff before! I am using it for EVERYTHING! It is definitely becoming a crafting staple in our home now.
Adding double-sided tape or a strip of glue (from a glue stick, not white glue) isn’t necessary, but it does really help this be an independent art project for toddlers. It helps to hold the yarn in place.
Now it is time to wrap! If your child is very young, take some time to help them find the rhythm of wrapping yarn around and around the toilet paper roll. With Norah, it helped to say, “Over, under, over, under” as we wrapped. She picked up on this pattern and repeated it to herself as we went.
We then cut the yarn and stuck it to the double-sided tape (gosh, I love the tape!)
Once the painting was dry, I folded it in half once more and cut out butterfly wings. We then used that magic tape to stick the yarn-wrapped butterfly ‘body’ to the middle of the wings. We added googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae, and voila! The cutest little Math Butterfly appeared.
Norah really, REALLY liked the wrapping part. And she loves painting—so this butterfly craft was the perfect art project for her.
I hope it is perfect for you and yours as well! Norah and I will be doing this butterfly craft again and again this spring and summer—I can already see our house filling up with these cuties!
Thank you so much for reading!
For a gentle weekly rhythm with your toddler, I invite you to discover Playful Days.
One activity a day—full of fun and learning—for you and your toddler to enjoy together: https://shop.howweelearn.com/pages/playful-days