Butterfly Symmetry

I’ve been making these fun symmetry-based art projects with my kids since they were pre-schoolers.  They loved it then and they still love it now.  We recently studied insects, so we decided to create an art project based on a butterfly – butterfly symmetry.

butterfly_symmetry

How To Make Butterfly Symmetry Art

You begin by folding a sheet of construction paper in half and then cutting out your design, using the fold as your line of symmetry.  Then when you open it up, you’ll see your whole figure.

I had my big kids freehand their own design and cut it themselves.  For my kindergartner,  I traced the line and made her do her own cutting.  And I cut the whole butterfly out for my toddler.  He can’t yet be trusted with pens or scissors!

Now for the fun part.  You drop small drops of paint straight from the paint bottles on to one half of your design.  Then fold it, squish it, and open it up again.

butterfly-symmetry-craft

Not only is the shape symmetrical, but the painted design will be too.

Additional Layers

  • Turn butterfly symmetry into a quiz.  I use this project to my advantage.  I have them tell me one fact they’ve learned from their reading about insects for each drop of paint they get to put on.  It’s incredibly motivating.  They read very intently and spouted off all kinds of new-found knowledge.  I had my kindergartner tell me one fact for each color she wanted to use so it would be a little bit simpler for her.
  • Learn fabulous facts about butterflies as you go.  You’ll see some listed in the next section.
  • Change this project up depending on your current studies.  You can do the same thing with trees, flowers, shapes, animal faces, architecture – all kinds of topics.

Fabulous Facts – Butterflies

  1. Butterflies drink from mud puddles; not just nectar.  They need minerals in their diet just like people do, so sometimes they drink from mud puddles to get those minerals.
  2. Butterflies have transparent wings.  Tiny scales cover them that reflect the light and give off the bright colors of butterflies.  As butterflies age they lose scales and their wings show their transparent spots.
  3. Butterflies can’t fly if they’re too cold.
  4. Scientists believe there are between 15,ooo and 20,000 species  of butterfly.
  5. After a butterfly comes out of its’ cocoon it takes several hours for their wings to harden before they can fly.
  6. They eat no solid foods – only liquids.
  7. Butterflies attach their eggs to leaves using a natural type of glue they produce.
  8. Most adult butterflies (post-cocoon) live less than a month.  Monarchs and similar varieties who migrate in the winter live for around nine months.
  9. Butterflies are near-sighted.  They can only see well for around 10 feet away from themselves.
  10. Butterflies taste using the receptors on their feet.

 

 

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