Sunday, May 6, 2012

An Oldie But Goodie - Kindergarten Symmetrical Drip Butterflies

I've done this project with Kindergarten students and a similar one with 1st graders ever since I can remember. But it's one of those oldies but goodies! I'm sure many of you have done something similar.

This is usually a close to end of year project. The students get excited when I tell them we are going to make a butterfly with paint, but we are not going to use brushes and our fingers will not touch the paint! We review the primary colors and I demonstrate how they will fold the paper - "short side to short side". We open the paper up and I squirt some of the primary colors in lines an drips on one side in the shape of a V.

I refold the paper and show the students how to gently rub in circles on the folded paper. They will feel the paint be squished around. I used to use say "wax on - wax off" with the students...but only the occasional aide in the classroom knows what I mean these days!

After rubbing the paper the student is excited when I tell them to open it up and see what you got. The Oooo's and Ahh's that always follow bring smiles.

While I do this with a couple of students at a time at a table, the students work on making a butterfly body on black paper using construction paper crayons.
Here's my example - 

The next class we will cut out the dried paint wings and glue the body onto it.

I do a similar project with my 1st graders. We do the same process only with one color + black on bottom and white on the top to help teach value tints and shades.  Instead of a butterfly they make a longer body to create a dragonfly.


  1. I haven't taught this lesson in a long time, but because of you I revisited it today with some of my students
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. my preschoolers loved it!! of course I had to work with one at a time to control hand movement but they were so excited with end results..thanks!!

  3. did this project today with my daughter for a symmetry pre-k lesson. We had an actual butterfly cutout so we placed the paint as specified, and then put it between a newspaper, folded it in between, and then pressed so we wouldn't end up full of paint. Love the way it came out!