Macaroni Metamorphosis Craft
Use your noodle to teach your kid about the butterfly life cycle.
- Li'l Lepidopterologist:Your kid. In case you're a little rusty on your butterfly trivia, a lepidopterologist is someone who practicies lepidopterology and studies lepidoptera, or butterflies and moths.
- One piece of rotini:Tight corkscrew pasta.
- One piece of farfalle:Bowtie pasta.
- A few pieces of orzo:Tiny rice-shaped pasta.
- One piece of conchiglie:Small shell-shaped pasta. And that's it for your Italian lesson del giorno!
- One piece of rectangular cardboard:The back of a cereal box will work nicely.
- Construction paper:One piece of green and a few pieces of any other color to serve as a background color.
- Small twigs
- Seed beads:Two, for caterpillar eyes.
- Tempera paint and a paintbrush:Green, red or yellow paint. Whatever color your kid wants to make her caterpillar.
- A cotton ball
- A marker
- Cut the back off of an empty cereal box.
- Then help your kid cover it with construction paper to make a nice, even colored background.
- Next, draw a "plus sign" with the marker to divide the cardboard into four equal sections.
- Starting in the upper left hand corner and moving clockwise, help your kid label each section with the lifecycle stage: 1) egg, 2) caterpillar/larva, 3) chrysalis/pupa and 4) adult butterfly.
- Then set your kid to work creating the "habitat." Have him cut four leaves out of construction paper and gather four small twigs. Invite him to glue a leaf hanging from a twig onto the upper right hand corner of each square.
- Next, have your kid glue a handful of orzo onto the leaf in the first (or "egg") section of the lifecycle to represent the butterfly eggs.
- Then encourage him move on to the "larvae stage." The rotini will be his caterpillar.
- Invite him to decorate his caterpillar by painting it and gluing on seed beads for eyes. He can even tease out a thin layer of cotton from a cotton ball, dip it into the paint and stick it on the pasta to give the caterpillar that authentic fuzziness.
- Help him glue the caterpillar onto the second (or "caterpillar") section.
- Moving on, have your little lepidopterologist glue a piece of shell pasta under the twig in the third square to represent the chrysalis or pupa hanging from a branch.
- Finally, have your kid paint a piece of farfallle like butterfly wings and glue it to the fourth square to complete the lifecycle.
- When he's finished the project, walk your kid through all of the stages of the metamorphosis. For each section, explain what happens and how the butterfly changes. Need a cheat sheet? Check out the Children's Butterfly Site.