Thursday, June 28, 2012

Coffee Filter Butterflies



It was HOT!  So hot that the a/c hadn't stopped running and the children balked at the thought of going outside.  I had implimented a $1 fine for every person who left a door open and the masses started to complain.  Tempers started to flare and all the Curious George episodes on the DVR had been viewed.  By then, the temps pushed over 100 and we were in serious need of some cool fun.  I wasn't about to brave the sizzling concrete and crowded swimming pool, so I decided to crack out an old stand-by craft. 

I wanted to show the children how colors are mixed with primary colors.  I had the wee beasties form dots with markers on coffee filters.  Next, we added a drop or two of water.  As the water spread across the filter, the color broke down.  Now, they were able to see the the individual colors that comprised the original dot. 

Technically, this worked. 

However, two year olds are not interested in color spectrums or dissecting the formula for plum markers.  I demonstrated a few for the older boys and handed over the water.  They all created beautiful "stained glass" images.  The children enjoyed mixing new colors and getting their designs to run together. I did try to keep the patterns symmetrical, by having them only color one side.  

When completed, the butterflies flitter about and catch the sunlight.  To make these fun butterflies, here are the items you will need:


  • Coffee Filters
  • Markers
  • Water
  • Droppers or small sticks to "drop" water
  • Bobby pins-  but a lot of people use old fashioned clothes "pins"
  • String


Here is how we made our colorful friends:
  • Take your markers to draw or dot on one side of the coffee filter.  I folded the filters in half to create "hemispheres" and let the children choose which one to decorate when it was unfolded. 
  • Drop water on the colored side.
  • Fold over the clean side and press down.  The colors should transfer and duplicate the same design. Butterflies are symmetrical after all!  LOL
  • Unfold the filter and let dry.
  • When the filters are dry-  scrunch up or accordion fold the filters in the middle.  You are creating the butterfly's wings.
  • Slide a bobby pin down the middle.  I personally prefer bobby pins, because they are cheaper and sleeker than the traditional clothes pin. Use whatever you have on hand and prefer.
  • For large butterflies, use two coffee filters.  For small critters, use only one.
  • Finally, attach a piece of string and hang.


What did you make today?  

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