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Make a Caterpillar Tree

tree for caterpillars and butterfliesHow can something that looks like a fuzzy worm turn into a beautiful butterfly?  Here's a project to help children learn about the different stages from caterpillar to butterfly while creating some decorations for spring.

You can read about when we raised live Painted Lady Butterflies.

You can find lots of craft and activity ideas in the kids crafts library.


Kids have fun with crafts.
Crafts are fun



Caterpillar Tree

Styrofoam cup,
plaster of Paris,
tree branch,
pipe cleaners in various colors,
fiber fill,
green Easter grass

  • Color the Styrofoam cup with the markers,
  • Mix the plaster of Paris with water (according to directions on the package).
  • Insert the tree branch while the plaster is still wet (lean it up against something so the branch won't tip while the plaster is drying).
  • When the plaster is solid the kids can now put in Easter grass into the base of the "tree". The kids can now take bits of fiber fill and roll them up into ball.
  • Cut leaf shapes out of green paper and glue it to the tree.
  • Make different stages in the life of the butterfly.
  • Glue the caterpillars , chrysalis, and butterflies onto the tree.

Now they have their own Caterpillar Tree. Sometimes we have go a step further and made little butterflies out of the coffee filters to sit on the branch. The kids get a kick out of it and it's a good way to show the stages of the caterpillar.

Eggs - Butterfly eggs are like tiny dots often on the underside of a leaf.  Use a pen or maker to make dots on the underside of some of the leaves.butterfly eggs on a leaf


Caterpillars - Cut the pipe cleaners in various lengths of 2/3/4 inches and bend them zig zag shapes. For more ideas see Pipe Cleaner Creations or Creatures.


Chrysalis - Take bits of fiber fill, or cotton balls and roll them up into ball to create cocoons.  A chrysalis looks a lot like a dead leaf so that predators don't eat them.   Scrunch up a small piece of brown paper into a tube shape to make a chrysalis.

painted lady butterfly picture

Butterflies - ideas for making butterflies.


Thanks to Debbi Reeves for this project idea.



We've been raising butterflies.  You can see pictures and descriptions of the different stages in the life of a painted lady butterfly on our blog. 



Note for Parents:

Every parent must use their own judgment in choosing which activities are safe for their own children.  While Creative Kids at Home makes every effort to provide activity ideas that are safe and fun for children it is your responsibility to choose the activities that are safe in your own home.


Send us a note if you have any questions.

Let us know if your kids have fun making colorful butterflies.




Gifts Kids Can Make Book Cover







Children love making gifts for their parents and other adults who are important to them.  But what can they make that will delight the person they are giving the gift to?

Here's how you can quickly and easily get lots of simple, high quality gift ideas that you children can make.  Guaranteed to be fun the children making the gift, and a delight for the person receiving it.

Gifts Kids Can Make



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