This activity is simple, but sometimes a little prop (binoculars, whistles, puppets) can transform children’s play when we invite them to explore the prop in new environments. When we do this activity inside, children may play with their puppets to explore light and shadow. If we play with them outside, it can become an activity to search for flowers in your neighborhood, or a way to identify habitats where butterflies may thrive. We invite you to see this activity through the lens of movement, as you invite children to “fly” their butterflies around while they get a chance to move their bodies.

Set up Time: 5 minutes


1. Gather together tissue paper, scissors, tape, sticks (we used chopsticks) and a marker or pen.

2. Fold your tissue paper in half, and draw a capital letter “B” on the page, with the crease of the paper as the long line of the letter B. Do this part with children so that they can see your movements and hear you describe how to make the letter B.

3. With the paper still folded, cut out the letter “B” but only the outside edges. When you unfold it, you should have a butterfly.

4. Invite children to tape their butterflies on to their stick.

5. Go outside and play with your puppets! Search for flowers, and talk about which ones look the most delicious for butterflies.


  • Tissue paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Sticks
  • Tape

Learning Through Play

Cognitive: Connections – Take your butterflies outside and look for flowers. Do children know what butterflies eat or drink? How do children think butterflies find their food? Do they have eyes like us? Mouths? Can they see color? How do they think flowers taste? If you don’t know the answers yourself, that is okay! Sometimes children’s questions can actually drive a lot of learning for adults as well! 

Physical: Gross Motor – What direction do butterflies fly? Invite children to reach their puppets high to make their butterflies flutter and fly. Stretching high on their tiptoes and reaching up is actually great for children to build their sense of balance, the little muscles in their feet and toes, and their core strength as they stretch!

School Readiness: Beginning Letter Sounds – Have children sit down near you while you trace the letter B. You can describe what you are doing so that children have natural exposure to the alphabet through this activity. You can narrate as you write: “I am going to show you a trick of how we can make butterflies! I am going to make a big letter B for butterfly—I’m going to a long line down the side, then a curve on top, and an even bigger curve on the bottom”. Then cut out the letter B using the same style of narration, or invite children to cut it. Talk together about how butterflies start with a “b-b-b” sound and brainstorm about other words that start with B.

See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with other fun activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.