We have been especially fascinated with butterflies and butterfly life cycle around here since ours hatched and flew away a couple weeks ago. While my kids have always noticed butterflies, now they want to know all about them. So we’ve been getting butterfly books from the library and watching videos online. These are great, but my kids learn best through playing. So I came up with this simple parts of a butterfly printable dice game that we could play together, to draw our own butterflies.
Not only has this taught my kids the parts of a butterfly, they love it! It also helps with fine motor/drawing skills as well as deduction (which parts of the butterfly do they know already?)- but they don’t know that. They just think it’s fun. This is geared toward elementary age- my daughter will be a Kindergartner this fall- but I’ve included variations for younger & older kids at the end of the post.
Parts of a Butterfly Printable Dice Game
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- Print off two copies of the parts of a butterfly printable. One for your wooden dice (designed for 1 1/4 inch cubes brought at the craft store), and one per child to reference from as they draw the parts of the butterfly. This is especially helpful the first time you play!
- Cut out the pictures from the printable and mod-podge them onto your dice. Don’t forget to mod-podge on top of the pictures too- it really helps protect them from little hands. When the dice is dry, you can sandpaper the edges to make them smoother.
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Rules for the dice game:
Each player needs a pencil/pen and a piece of paper. On each turn, the player may roll the dice and add onto their butterfly if they don’t have that part already. If they already have that part, then they lose their turn. The first player to have a drawn butterfly with all of its parts wins!
Variations for toddlers:
- Include the simpler names of “body” and “mouth” onto your dice. As you roll the dice, have your child point out the different parts and count them together. “You rolled ‘wings,’ how many wings does the butterfly have?”
- Alternately, you can have them roll the dice, then you can draw the butterfly for them. Again, this is good practice of problem-solving: “You rolled ‘wings,’ do we already have wings on our butterfly?”
- Let the children keep rolling the dice until they get the next part of the butterfly. This ensures that kids all have the same number of turns and will finish their butterflies together.
- Create a color dice by drawing/painting six colors onto a separate wooden dice. I used red, blue, yellow, green, orange and purple. The child rolls both dice- the butterfly dice & the color dice- at once, and draws that butterfly part using the rolled color.
- Use the butterfly dice in conjunction with a number dice to make your own fantastical butterflies! This is especially great for older kids. If they roll a “2” and a “head” then their butterfly will have two heads! If they roll a “3” and legs, then their butterfly will have three legs! For a real challenge, you can even slip in a little multiplication. “You rolled a 3 and legs. How many would 3 sets of six legs be?” (18).
- It also makes a great solo activity. My daughter has been requesting it for her quiet time- and drawing some amazing butterflies too!
More fun from Freshly Planted
A middle school art teacher in a former life, Cassidy decided to stay home with her baby daughter five years ago and has been home ever since. When she found her creative bliss buried under a pile of laundry, she created “Freshly Planted” to help find it again- and inspire other parents to find theirs too. When she’s not dreaming up fun kids projects, she’s usually knitting, creative journaling, or tackling her kitchen.
This post originally appeared June 25, 2014.