Make a Handprint Butterfly Activity

4.0 based on 6 ratings
Updated on Oct 15, 2012

Show your child the natural beauty of butterflies in this fun art activity. She'll make a print of a butterfly using her hand as a tool—a great way to stimulate her sense of touch. This spring-inspired activity provides a means for her to understand the basic art processes involved in printmaking, delve into the wonders of symmetry, and even learn about the buggy science behind these magnificent winged creatures.

What You Need:

  • Tempera paints
  • Paint brush
  • Construction paper (in a light color)

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to choose a color for her butterfly. This can either be imaginative or a realistic hue from a photograph.
  2. Have her fold the construction paper in half.
  3. Help her to paint one hand in its entirety.
  4. Ask  her to place her painted hand onto the paper with her fingers spread open. Make sure her thumb is in the middle on the crease.
  5. She can remove her hand, and then quickly fold the paper in half (like a book). Press firmly.
  6. Open the paper to reveal a symmetrical butterfly shape.
  7. Have her add an antenna, eyes, and patterns to the butterfly using her paint-dipped fingers. Set aside to dry.

Make sure she displays it on the wall for all to see!

For a follow up activity, try a size comparison exercise. Ask other family members with different sized hands (including yourself) to make the same project. Hang the butterflies next to each other and ask your child to name the small, medium, and large-sized butterflies.

Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

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