Learning About the Butterfly Life Cycle (Free Worksheets!)

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Learning about the Butterfly Life Cycle is a perfect activity to do in the Spring. Whether you’re creating an entire homeschool unit on the butterfly life cycle or are exploring it as a supplemental activity, it’s sure to be a memorable activity for the kids!

When I was in elementary school, I distinctly remember learning abut the butterfly life cycle. We observed the entire process in the classroom and, when the cycle was complete, we released the butterflies outside. It really was magical!

*This article, and freebie, were updated in 2024!

Now that I’m a homeschooling parent, I love that I can teach my kids about the butterfly life cycle, too. Although I’ve always enjoyed butterflies, up until recently, they haven’t really held any special meaning in my life. Following the passing of my grandmother, I began seeing butterflies more and more. Now, I think of my grandmother whenever I see a butterfly so it’s safe to say that butterflies make me even happier than they did before!

Learning about the Butterfly Life Cycle is a perfect activity to do in the Spring. Whether you're creating an entire homeschool unit on the butterfly life cycle or are exploring it as a supplemental activity, it's sure to be a memorable activity for the kids!

Check out some of our favorite butterfly life cycle books, butterfly life cycle worksheets, butterfly life cycle printables, and even get details on hosting your very own butterfly life cycle event!

When it comes to teaching my kids about butterflies, I’ve found that there are plenty of butterfly life cycle resources out there. Let’s go through some of my favorites so you can start planning your own homeschool unit!

Butterfly Life Cycle Worksheets

When I was a teacher, I made worksheets for my students all the time. It’s only natural that I do the same when creating homeschool units for my own kids, right?!

I created these butterfly life cycle worksheets to go along with the lessons for my own kids. This freebie comes with writing prompts, a butterfly observation journal, word search, maze, and even coloring pages! To get this freebie, just fill out the form coming up. 17 pages of butterfly life cycle worksheets, in PDF form, will be sent right to your email inbox!

piano key butterfly with wings closed at butterfly world in coconut creak florida
How gorgeous is this piano key butterfly?! They’re only found at Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida

What sort of worksheets, you ask? Here’s what’s included in my free set of butterfly life cycle resources:

  • 1 butterfly life cycle maze
  • 1 butterfly life cycle fact/opinion worksheet
  • 1 “butterflies in my area” worksheet (because…monarchs aren’t everywhere, ya know!)
  • 2 pages of cut/glue life cycle worksheets (1 in black/white, 1 in color)
  • 3 butterfly writing prompts (meant for early-elementary age)
  • 5 butterfly writing prompts (meant for upper-elementary/middle school age)
    • one in each category: Descriptive Writing, Narrative Writing, Persuasive Writing, Research & Informative Writing, and Reflective Writing
  • 1 butterfly life cycle observation journal cover
  • 1 butterfly life cycle observation journal page (2 days per page, duplicate as needed)
  • 4 butterfly life cycle coloring pages – each depicting 1 stage of the cycle
  • 1 page of 20 butterfly life cycle-themed vocabulary words
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Experience it in Person!

If you ask me, there’s really nothing better than some good old fashioned hands-on, experience-based learning! The best way to do this when learning about the butterfly life cycle? Why, get yourself a Butterfly Garden! I currently (at time of publishing) have one of these on my kitchen table because, honestly, I can sacrifice a few meals at the kitchen table for some butterflies.

The Butterfly Garden kit comes with pretty much everything you’ll need to observe the life cycle of a butterfly…except the larva! Larva/caterpillars are typically ordered separately because they should only be delivered in certain temperatures. If you use the kit that we use, a certificate is enclosed that allows you to order the larva for free plus shipping.

*Make sure you order your larva when the temperature has been 50-85 degrees daily for at least 3 weeks. We don’t want to risk our precious pollinators freezing during shipment!

@thathomeschoolfamily Do you name butterflies after they’ve hatched? 🤔 #insectlore #butterflygarden #homeschoolscience #homeschoolfamily #homeschoolactivities #homeschoolresources ♬ original sound – Elizabeth

Butterfly Life Cycle Books

Can’t really do a homeschool unit without books, am I right?! After all, I’m betting our community members are pretty much on a first name basis with local librarians! Whether you purchase, rent, or borrow, these are a few butterfly life cycle books that could come in handy during your homeschool unit:

Butterflies for Kids: A Junior Scientist’s Guide to the Butterfly Life Cycle and Beautiful Species to Discover

National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly

The Life Cycles of Butterflies: From Egg to Maturity, a Visual Guide to 23 Common Garden Butterflies

Life Cycles (Get more bang for your buck – this book covers a variety of different life cycles!)

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Step-By-Step Guide for Kids (How It Works)

While you’re at it, might as well check out our 13 Ways to Get Cheap or Free Books for Kids article to see if you can come across any butterfly life cycles in there!

Learning about the Butterfly Life Cycle is a perfect activity to do in the Spring. Whether you're creating an entire homeschool unit on the butterfly life cycle or are exploring it as a supplemental activity, it's sure to be a memorable activity for the kids!

Check out some of our favorite butterfly life cycle books, butterfly life cycle worksheets, butterfly life cycle printables, and even get details on hosting your very own butterfly life cycle event!

Some More Ideas…

We’ve got the books, butterfly life cycle worksheets, and the actual bugs taken care of…how about a few more ideas?

Do you have a science museum membership? They may have local exhibits on life cycles or could even be showing associated movies in their IMAX theater! When we went to the Baltimore Science Center, we got to see Flight of the Butterflies (also available to stream) and absolutely loved it! Years later, and my kids are still talking about this film – it’s a definite must-see when learning about butterflies!

If you happen to be in the Philadelphia area (like we used to be!), the Wagner Free Institute of Science has quite a few butterfly specimens on display. It’s really a sight to see!

.

Do you have an insectarium nearby? Experience butterflies and more with a visit to an insectarium. If you’re near Philadelphia, we have the Philadelphia Insectarium & Butterfly Pavilion nearby AND there’s a pretty awesome butterfly exhibit inside the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Do you live near a university? Their science department may be able to host a homeschool field trip!

Up for a trip to Florida? You have to visit Butterfly World in Coconut Creek, Florida. It’s a truly magical place.

Have some ideas for learning about butterfly life cycles that should be added to this article? Email me or leave a comment! I’d be happy to add your suggestions. Be sure to grab our free butterfly life cycle worksheets before you leave and I hope you have a great time learning all about butterflies with your kids!

Until next time, stay safe & enjoy quality time with your family,

- Elizabeth (and the kids. and the husband. even the dog.)
That Homeschool Family in Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.

Elizabeth Dukart is a proud Georgia-based born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 human boys & 1 canine boy.

Created in 2021, Elizabeth owns and publishes That Homeschool Family: a free resource for homeschooling parents and beyond! A seasoned blogger, Elizabeth previously published a popular location-specific family resource blog, but decided to “Pivot!” her blogging focus after she started homeschooling her two boys in 2020. In addition to this blog, you can follow Elizabeth’s homeschooling and family adventures on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. She can also be found in her Facebook Group: That Homeschool Family Hangout.

When she’s not busy taking over the world or homeschooling, Elizabeth can be found listening to music (especially The Beatles & Harry Styles!), being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, shopping, or traveling!

Have a question or want to work with Elizabeth? Send her an email!

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