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How to Make a 3D Butterfly Model- Beautiful Springtime STEM

Butterfly season where we live in Dallas is in the fall and mid-spring. Monarch butterflies pass right through Dallas when they fly south for the winter and north for warmer temperatures. We’ll often see tons of colorful Monarch butterflies starting in the beginning of April. For this version of one of our favorite spring science experiments, we made a 3D butterfly model of a Monarch butterfly. If you want to learn how to make a 3D butterfly model, keep reading!

Love Monarch butterflies? You won't want to miss this fun STEM-focused lesson on Monarch butterflies and creating a 3D butterfly model of a Monarch butterfly. Learn how to make a 3D butterfly model and have fun with this educational monarch butterfly craft for kids. #scienceexperiment #stemactivity #thematicunit #springactivities

Monkey has always loved butterflies, so in preparation for Texas Monarch season this year, we decided to do mini STEM units on Monarch butterflies and butterfly science. It’s the perfect addition to your spring STEM activities and as part of a 3d butterfly life cycle craft or other life cycle of a butterfly projects.

How to Make a 3D Butterfly Model Out of Paper

Follow along with these simple directions to learn how to make a 3D butterfly model out of paper, glue, and a few other common craft supplies.

But before you get started on this folded paper butterfly craft, here are some STEM topics that you can cover in your class while completing this butterfly model.

What are Butterfly STEM Activities?

Butterfly STEM activities are a fun way to bring the concepts of butterfly science to life. There are a lot of reasons to do hands-on science experiments with kids, but you don’t ever have to do seasonal science experiments.

A spring science experiment is simply a science experiment that focuses on spring topics, typically botany, insect science, biology, flower science, and animal science. Kids naturally love learning about the world around them and there is no better time for that then spring!

Spring Books for the Classroom

Here are some spring books that you can use in your classroom this spring to teach kids about spring science and other spring topics!

spring science books set

Spring Science Book Set

weather science book pack

Weather Science Book Set

april printable pack 3rd grade

April Classroom Printables Set

may printable pack 3rd grade

May Classroom Printables Set

Amphibians Reader Grade 1 3

Amphibians Science Reader

Birds Reader Grade 1 3

Birds Science Reader

Toads and Other Amphibians Reader Grade 3 8

Toads Science Reader

life cycle science books

Life Cycle Books Classroom Set

Why Make a Butterfly Model?

By the time spring rolls around, kids are ready for a break. They want to get outdoors and explore and are ready for summer break already.

When you introduce butterfly STEM challenges into the classroom during the spring season, you give kids a chance to get outdoors, feel the change in the weather, and learn a little bit about what happens to the earth during the spring season.

spring stem challenges

Spring is a wonderful time to explore seed science, outdoor science, animal science, insects, and a lot more!

Monarch Butterfly Facts for Kids

During our butterfly life cycle science project, we learned all about why Monarch butterflies have the parts they do and what each part does.

Monkey examined Monarch diagrams to determine that just like all butterflies, Monarch butterflies have a head, compound eyes, a thorax, an abdomen, six legs, a proboscis, and four wings.

We studied the structure of the wings and read about the diet, life cycle, and migration patterns. 

I asked questions about why Monkey thought butterflies ended up with the body style, parts, and wing patterns that they did to give her some critical thinking practice during our project.

Monkey said she wants to plant milkweed in our patio garden to attract Monarchs this spring, so we’ll see how that goes!

Follow along to learn how to make your very own 3D butterfly model!

For more spring science experiments try this fun egg shell garden science activity, making Earth day baking soda slime, learning about weather science for kids or complete this flower dissection science activity.

How to Make a 3D Butterfly Out of Paper

After completing our butterfly science study, we decided to make a 3D model of a Monarch butterfly. We only used craft supplies that we had on hand, so our colors aren’t quite accurate, but Monkey completed the design on her own with little help from me.

We used this page from Encyclopedia Britannica Kids as a diagram for our 3D butterfly model.

What you Need to Make a Butterfly Model out of Paper

If you want to make this version of a butterfly model, this is what you will need to have on hand to make 3d representations of monarch butterflies.

Love Monarch butterflies? You won't want to miss this fun STEM unit study learning about Monarch butterflies and creating a 3D Monarch model.

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Spring STEM Supplies for the Classroom

Here are some fun spring-themed activities and kits to add to your spring STEM activities.

nature boxes

Nature Exploration Boxes

prisim set

Classroom Prism Set

light exploration classroom set

Light Exploration Classroom Kit

life cycle puzzles

Life Cycle Puzzles

mobile greenhouse

Mobile Greenhouse

vegetable garden classroom kit

Classroom Vegetable Growing Kit

prisim set

Botany Lab Experimental Greenhouse 

real insect specimins

Real Insect Life Cycle Specimens

ladybug land observation jar

Ladybug Observation Habitat

plant flower observation classroom kit

Classroom Plant Observation Kit

seeds book and gardening classroom set

Seeds Book and Classroom Flower Growing Kit

life science classroom kit

Life Science Classroom Kit

water cycle posters

Water Cycle Posters Classroom Kit

weather science center

Weather Science Center

lego flower pot building set

LEGO Watering Can Set

More Bug Activities for Kids

Here are some more butterfly and bug activities that you might like to try!

Spring Shirts for Teachers

Whether you want to rep the newly growing flowers, the warm spring breeze, or your favorite spring animal or insect, you’ll find the perfect spring shirt for teachers here!

every day is a beautiful day to learn spring teacher shirt

Every Day is a Beautiful Day to Learn Teacher Shirt

bananna socks

Banana Socks for Teachers

flower socks

Pansy Teacher Socks

strawberry socks

Strawberry Socks

rainbow flower earrings

Rainbow Flower Teacher Earrings

every flower blooms different teacher shirt

Every Flower Blooms Differently Teacher Shirt

flower teacher shirt

Teacher Flower Shirt

cat book flowers teacher shirt

Cat, Book, and Wildflowers Teacher Shirt

be attitudes teacher shirt

Bee Attitudes Teacher Shirt

bee kind teacher shirt

Bee Kind Teacher Shirt

flower teacher earrings

Beaded Flower Earrings

wildflowers teacher shirt

Spring Wildflower Teacher Shirt

hungry caterpillar teacher shirt

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Shirt for Teachers

be the light spring teacher shirt

Be the Light Spring Teacher Shirt

teach them love them watch them grow teacher shirt

Teach Them, Love Them, Watch Them Grow Shirt for Teachers

How to Make a 3D Butterfly Model

Here are the step by step directions to learn how to make a 3D butterfly model. We created our butterfly science model by using the diagram as a guide.

So, here are the directions to make a 3d butterfly out of paper step by step. We wanted our Monarch butterfly to have all of the necessary parts and be somewhat realistic in scale.

Love Monarch butterflies? You won't want to miss this fun STEM unit study learning about Monarch butterflies and creating a 3D Monarch model.

First, Monkey constructed the body from two large and one medium-sized pom poms. We used hot glue for the pom poms to speed drying time so that our folded paper butterfly craft would be ready to display sooner.

For the next part of this butterfly craft for kids, Monkey cut legs, the antenna, and the proboscis from drinking straws.

Monarch butterflies have four long legs and two short, so we made sure to adjust our leg length. We attached these with hot glue to make a 3d butterfly out of paper.

spring stem challenges

I helped Monkey cut the butterfly’s wings from cardstock paper.

We ended up layering orange over the black paper, then cutting out little pieces of white paper to make the white spots on the edge of the Monarch’s wings.

Love Monarch butterflies? You won't want to miss this fun STEM unit study learning about Monarch butterflies and creating a 3D Monarch model.

We built the wings before gluing them to the butterflies body.

When the Monarchs show up this spring, we’ll be ready armed with our new butterfly science knowledge now that we know how to make a 3d butterfly model.

Classroom Decorations for Spring

Here are some fun spring decorations to use to brighten up the classroom if spring outside is taking its time to arrive!

paper bug cutouts

Bug Paper Cutouts

4 season classroom door decorating kit

4 Season Classroom Door Decorating Kit

Never Stop Growing Bulletin Board

Never Stop Growing Bulletin Board

bunny bulletin board

Bunny Bulletin Board

paper flower decorations classroom

Paper Flowers

spring holiday door decorating kit

Spring Holiday Classroom Door Decorating Kit

hanging flowers

Hanging Paper Flowers

farmers market deluxe classroom decorating kit 79 pc 14356242 a01

Farmer’s Market Classroom Decorating Kit

4 seasons classroom tree decoration

4-Season Classroom Tree

spring vibes classroom door decorating kit

Spring Vibes Classroom Door Decorating Kit

Get even more spring decorations for the classroom here!

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