Kindergarten Butterfly Life Cycle Lesson

Butterfly wings captivate many young students, and this kindergarten butterfly life cycle lesson can serve as an effective means of teaching children about growth and transformation.

Introduce the topic with a KWL chart featuring posters depicting each stage of butterfly development – egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult. Read aloud Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Madison Hawkes for added interest.


Butterfly eggs represent the start of their lifecycles. Female butterflies deposit eggs on leaves depending on the species of butterfly they belong to; once these hatch, they become larva, commonly known as caterpillars. Once in existence, these larvae eat, grow and lay more eggs. Once full size, caterpillars molt or shed their skin; ultimately becoming pupae that take up to seven days to form before entering pupation stage and metamorphosis occurs.

At this stage, the caterpillar will change into its adult form. To help students grasp this concept of change and evolution in life cycles, compare their own lives with that of the caterpillar’s. This will serve as an excellent introduction for kindergarten students.

Once the pupa has formed, it can take on either a green or brown hue to blend in with its surroundings. Once this occurs, the butterfly begins its transformation into flight – soft wings at first but slowly becoming stiff as blood seeps into them as its body moves. As soon as its wings have developed enough strength for flight, mated pairs will emerge to begin its own lifecycles.

As part of your unit study, take advantage of Fun-A-Day’s Butterfly Coloring Pages and Life Cycle Book Bundle! Everything you need to teach students about butterfly life cycles will be included here; just enter your email address into the box below and download links will be emailed directly to you! Additionally, join Fun-A-Day’s Free Email Community and gain access to even more download links!


Children gain an understanding of life cycles through books about seeds, flowers and caterpillars; however, true understanding comes when children witness these processes take place in real-life – we offer many butterfly activities that help children do just this!

At the core of every butterfly life cycle lies an egg. Once hatching occurs, a caterpillar hatches from it and begins eating plant matter for sustenance; over time this stage goes through multiple moulting cycles before becoming larval stage and eventually pupal stage – at which point it attaches to twig or leaf and hangs upside down until finally emerging into its final state and creating its chrysalis stage which typically lasts 14 days before eventually emerging again as a butterfly!

As the chrysalis develops, it must remain protected against predators. When ready, it will open and reveal an adult butterfly; unfortunately though, its wings will still be soft and wet so it takes hours or days before its wings dry sufficiently for flight.

Keep students engaged with this important life cycle topic by using an interactive website or video to demonstrate what occurs at each stage in a butterfly’s life cycle. Ask students to compare it with humans and other animals’ life cycles by creating a Venn diagram together – this will show that insects undergo similar growth and change processes as humans while reinforcing that we’re all connected and part of nature.


The pupa or chrysalis stage of butterfly development is one of the most crucial and difficult-to-see aspects of its life cycle. Here, a caterpillar prepares to transform itself into an adult butterfly through metamorphosis; during this process it molts several times while growing larger before entering its next phase – often finding shelter beneath leaves or among tree trunks for pupation.

Once the caterpillar finds a safe location for pupation, it will molt one last time and form a protective cocoon known as a chrysalis or cocoon to shield itself from enemies while it goes through its transformation into a butterfly. This process may take up to two weeks as special cells rapidly divide to become legs, wings, eyes, and mouthparts of its new host butterfly.

Once butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, they must first dry their wings before flying off towards their mates and starting their new lives cycles, including laying eggs of their own.

Butterfly learning can help preschoolers better comprehend the natural world around them. A butterfly’s life cycle serves as an inspiring illustration of all living organisms’ transformation. Children often become fascinated with butterflies’ vibrant wings, providing an excellent visual demonstration of life cycles at work. Furthermore, this lesson can also serve to inform children how they can help protect and conserve nature.


Kids of all ages will be intrigued by the miraculous transformation that takes place during a butterfly’s chrysalis stage, providing an excellent opportunity for lessons about perseverance and resilience as they await their transformation into beautiful flying adults.

After hatching from its egg, a caterpillar spends some time feeding until its time to undergo metamorphosis. When ready, it spins a short thread of silk and attaches itself securely to something secure like a leaf or branch of a tree, where it will spin more silk to secure itself and slowly unwiggle itself free from its top layer of skin until freeing itself completely from old self. Next it forms a hardened shell made out of hardened skin which it stays within for 5-21 days before eventually emerging as beautiful, colorful butterfly!

With this printable life cycle chart, your grade 1 and 2 children can learn all four stages of a butterfly’s lifecycle – an egg, caterpillar fondly known as “the eating machine,” chrysalis and vibrant butterfly.

Children can quickly gain a better understanding of the life cycle of butterflies by creating illustrated diagrams themselves using graphic software such as Edraw Max Online. This activity provides an engaging way for students to gain knowledge of basic steps involved with butterfly life cycles as well as those of other organisms like frogs, birds or plants.


Butterflies are some of the most beautiful creatures in nature, their vibrant wings enthralling both children and adults alike. Teaching kids the butterfly life cycle serves as an invaluable early science lesson; helping them understand species evolution as an egg develops into an adult insect.

Female butterflies start the lifecycle process with the egg stage. Females lay eggs on leaves and stems of plants; these may be either round or oval in shape and covered by a tough shell called the chorion; depending on which species of butterfly it may take several days or weeks for these eggs to hatch.

Once the eggs hatch, larvae emerge and feed on the plant they were laid upon. As they develop further, caterpillars will shed their skin several times; over time these cells will form legs, wings, eyes and other parts of an adult butterfly’s wings and body parts; at this stage of development the caterpillar may even consume its own skin to gain energy for growth.

Once a caterpillar reaches its final stage, it undergoes metamorphosis to become an adult butterfly that can fly, mate and lay more eggs before ultimately dying off. Generally this stage lasts several weeks until death occurs.

Teaching preschoolers about the butterfly life cycle can be made fun and engaging with these games and activities. Reading books focusing on this topic may also provide additional learning opportunities about its different stages, their interrelations, etc. When first introducing this topic to young children it is best to first explain each stage and then engage them in activities to reinforce what they learned.

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