Butterfly Nature Study Resources

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It’s the first day of spring! This time of year signifies the beginning of several family traditions for us. One of the most anticipated is our butterfly nature study that culminates with raising and releasing painted lady butterflies. My children love breaking out our butterfly pavillion and ordering our yearly cup of caterpillars.

Though we’ve done this for several years in a row, each time I try to add even more educational activities so that it is a fully enriching experience.

Below I’ve decided to share some of the resources that I’ve gathered over the years to turn raising butterflies into well rounded educational experience.

Butterfly Nature Study Resources


These resources are best suited for preschoolers and early elementary aged students, but many could be easily modified to be used with older children or used as supplementation with other things.

If you want to raise your own butterflies, I highly recommend Insect Lore butterfly habitats. You’ll get a cup of live caterpillars delivered to your door with instructions on how to care for them as they transition from caterpillar to butterfly!

butterfly nature study painted ladies

Books to Use in Your Butterfly Nature Study

Caterpillars and Butterflies is the main source for us this year.

A few others that we have enjoyed in the past:

My, Oh My–A Butterfly! by Tish Rabe
Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell
Caterpillars, Bugs, and Butterflies by Mel Boring

butterfly nature study social media


Free Printables

I rely heavily on printables and other free online resources when I’m putting together any kind of unit study for my children. It just makes it easier to replicate things for my children when I can print as many copies as I need and I am always on the look out for ways to save money! These are some favorites:

Butterfly Thematic Unit by Kristin Walsky
Butterfly Life Cycle Cards by Learning 2 Walk
Butterfly Life Cycle Worksheets from Living Life and LearningFree Pretty Bugs Preschool Pack from 1+1+1=1
Very Hungry Caterpillar Tot Pack from 1+1+1=1
Butterfly lapbook from Homeschool Share
Coloring page from Kidspot
Montessori Inspired Butterfly Cards from Suzie’s Home Education Ideas
Hatching Butterflies Observation Notebook from 123HomeschoolMe
Life Cycle Printables from Homeschool Creations
Preschool Butterfly Journal by Spell Outloud
Butterfly Life Cycle Game from Life Over Cs


Time Lapsed Video of the Painted Lady Butterfly’s life cycle
Another time lapsed video of the butterfly life cycle

butterfly nature study feeder


Make Your Own Butterfly Feeder Tutorial by Mother Rising
A list of simple crafts for the younger set from DLTK Kids
DIY Butterfly Craft using plastic spoons
How to show the butterfly life cycle using pasta noodles
Butterfly Art Project from Deep Space Sparkle
Chenille Stem and Button Caterpillar Craft
Butterfly Sensory Tub
Make a butterfly snack shack
Make caterpillars with pom poms and craft sticks
Make a paper plate caterpillar

butterfly nature study holding monarch


Butterfly Snack Baggies
Fruity Cheerio Butterfly Treats
Mini Pretzel Butterflies
The Very Tasty Caterpillar Pizza

Butterfly nature study monarch on flower

Other Resources

Butterfly Habitat from Insect Lore
Painted Lady Life Cycle toys from Insect Lore


I hope that these resources are helpful to you and your families as you plan your own butterfly nature study!


Have you ever raised butterflies?

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