Article

Craft: Paper-Plate Butterflies and Caterpillars

Watch paper plates morph into beautiful butterflies and
cute caterpillars with these imaginative crafts inspired by
The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

To celebrate Earth Day, gather recycled materials to make Eric Carle–inspired caterpillars and butterflies. With paper plates, a splash of paint, and some ingenuity, you’ll have colorful butterfly and caterpillar puppets to brighten up your classroom!

Caterpillars

What you'll need:
9" paper plate
Toilet paper tube
Acrylic or tempera paint
3 black pipe cleaners (or skinny strips of black paper)
White paper
Popsicle stick

1 Cut off the outside rim of a paper plate. Make sure to cut where the ridged edge meets the flat center of the plate. Then, cut this rim in half to create 2 caterpillar bodies.

2 Cut the toliet paper tube in half to create 2 smaller tubes. These will be the caterpillar heads.

3 Paint the two halves of the paper plate green. Then, paint the paper tube red. Allow to dry.

Fun Tip: Try adding stripes or a fun design to your caterpillar with extra paint!

4 Draw eyes and a mouth on the white paper and cut them out. Then, glue them onto the paper tube.

5 Fold a pipe cleaner in half. Glue the pipe cleaner to the inside of the tube for antennas. Allow to dry. (Use masking tape to avoid waiting for the glue to dry!)

6 Cut the other two pipe cleaners into 3 sections. Next, fold each section in half to create legs. Glue these to the caterpillar body. Now, attach the head to the body of the caterpillar. Then, glue a popsicle stick to the inside of the paper tube to make your caterpillar into a puppet!

Butterfly

What you'll need:
9" paper plate
Toilet paper tube
Acrylic or tempera paint
Scissors
Glue
Black pipe cleaner or skinny strips of black paper
White paper
Popsicle Stick

1 Start by cutting a wedge (like a pizza slice) out of two opposite sides of the plate. Leave about 2" of paper plate between the two cuts. This will form the shape of the wings.

2 Paint the wings with a symmetrical pattern. Then, paint the paper tube. Make it solid or paint a pattern for a really unique butterfly!

3 Next, draw eyes and a mouth onto white paper and cut them out. Glue onto the paper tube. Now your butterfly has a face!

4 Fold a pipe cleaner in half. Then, glue the pipe cleaner to the inside of the tube for antennas. (Use masking tape to avoid waiting for the glue to dry!)

5 Glue the paper tube in the center of wings and allow to dry. Then, glue a popsicle stick to the inside of the paper tube to make your butterfly into a puppet!

 

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