Explore The Butterfly Life Cycle with A Free Coloring Page

free butterfly life cycle coloring page

Inside: Grab this free butterfly life cycle coloring page printable to inspire wonder and curiosity in your preschooler about nature, butterflies, and metamorphosis.

T his nearly brought tears to my eyes.

Last week, my 3-year-old and I were sitting at the kitchen table, and he jumped up as he remembered something from his preschool class he wanted to show me.

watercolor butterfly

He hurried to his backpack, pulled out one of his school projects, and proudly waved it in front of me to admire. It was a butterfly craft he’d worked hard on.

Then, to my surprise,  he broke out into the most heart-warming song. He sang a song about butterflies, eggs, caterpillars with many legs, and a chrysalis. He made hand gestures. He knew all the words. It was achingly endearing and sweet.

After his tiny performance, I realized how curious he is about butterflies and their transformation, and I immediately put together this free butterfly life cycle coloring page (download it here).

Butterfly activities are a surefire hit if you are looking for ways to inspire curiosity about nature with your preschooler. Create a sense of wonder and excitement with your child, and help make learning enchanting.

Ready to find out how?

Why Is It Important To Each The Life Cycle of a Butterfly?

Do you remember learning about butterflies when you were little?

It was pretty amazing, right? 

There’s a bit of magic and mystery in the caterpillar’s metamorphosis into a butterfly. Use this activity to captivate your preschooler and show them the wonder in nature and science. 

a monarch butterfly sits on a flower with the text overlay: why is it important to teach the life cycle of a butterfly

Get them curious about learning.  Use fascinating science lessons like this to hook them on learning. Show them how to be inquisitive. Explore science. Model the questions that they can ask themselves. Then show them how to find the answers.

And this? 

This is the secret to inspiring a lifelong love of learning by showing your child how to be curious about the world.

So get creative and start coloring.

Want even more butterfly activities? Check out the ultimate guide of butterfly activities for preschoolers?

How Coloring Pages Help Kids Learn

But first, why coloring pages? It’s not an accident that you see me make a lot of free coloring page printables (like these free butterfly & flowers coloring pages).

During the toddler and preschool years, kids learn best when they can do something, not just listen and observe. 

They need interactivity as they process the information. 

Coloring, like crafts, is a fantastic tactile and fun way to get kids to be hands-on during the learning process. 

coloring page of butterfly life cycle diagram with text overlay: how coloring pages help kids learn

Imagine explaining metamorphosis and life cycles to a 3-year-old using only words. Seems like a lot of big words and crazy concepts.  They are hard to wrap their heads around.

Now let’s introduce some pictures – getting warmer.  Now they can see it happening. They have an image in their minds.

Now let’s make it interactive.  After explaining the steps of a butterfly cycle, we now give them a hands-on activity.  We explain the first step: an adult butterfly lays an egg on a leaf. Now they color that leaf and egg. 

The time children spend coloring, they are processing information. Getting involved.  And this interactivity is an essential part of kids learning new information.

butterfly perception game
Want a butterfly game that helps your preschooler with pre-reading skills? Check out these butterfly symmetry cards.

Interactive Butterfly Coloring Activity, Step by Step

Here’s how to set up a butterfly life cycle activity. Jump to the end of the post or click here download your free butterfly coloring page.

Materials you’ll need:

Prep. Print out the free butterfly coloring pages and have your crayons or colored pencils ready. And look here if you need to brush up on your butterfly metamorphosis facts.

butterfly life cycle coloring page with the text overlay: how to explain metamorphosis to a child

Butterfly Egg. Start explaining the different stages of the butterfly life cycle. Begin with the adult butterfly laying eggs on a leaf.  Use hand motions of a butterfly flying and swooping in to land on a leaf.

Talk through the details with your child – wonder aloud how big the eggs are.  Guess the size with your fingers.

Then show them the life cycle coloring page and point to the egg and leaf. And have them color that part.

Caterpillar (Larva). Next, move on through the life stages, in the correct order, of the larva or caterpillar hatching from the egg.  Talk about the colors of a caterpillar.  How big they are. How many legs do they have? 

Now color the caterpillar.

Chrysalis (Butterfly pupa). Now talk about how the caterpillar spins the chrysalis around them. Use hand motions for this and make it fun activity. Talk about what the chrysalis looks like – that it is colored to help it blend in with its surroundings. Why would it need to do that?

Discuss what is happening to the caterpillar while it pupates. It’s not sleeping.  It’s actively forming a new body.  Can your little learner guess what it’s going to be?

life cycle of a butterfly with days

Butterfly. At this stage, the chrysalis starts to change color. As the chrysalis turns clear, we can see the butterfly’s colors through the protective shell.

The beautiful butterfly breaks free and flies away.  Floating through the sky, between flowers and plants.

Color the final photo, completing the life cycle of a butterfly. 

Cut and Paste Sequencing. Now print out a copy of the blank life cycle sheet, and the cut out pages. Cut out each of the 4 individual life cycle stages. Now ask your preschooler to arrange them in order. Talk it through with them. 

free butterfly life cycle coloring page

This sequencing activity helps your child figure out the logical order of events.

Draw It. This is an optional step but a fantastic way to drive the concept of a life cycle home. Print another copy of the blank life cycle sheet.  And have your child draw each phase of the butterfly life cycle. Talk through it as you go.  Prompt them where necessary. And just have fun with it.

Label it. For older kids learning to read, print out a copy of the butterfly diagram with label boxes. Then print out the cut-out sheet and cut out the 4 labels of the stages. Show your child how to match the label to each phase, then have them do it. Optional: glue the labels to the page.

Watch it. After you’ve talked and colored the whole life cycle of a butterfly, watch this incredible video with your child.  It shows the entire life cycle and is a bit over 4 minutes long.

4 stages of a butterfly life cycle

Download Your Free Butterfly Life Cycle Coloring Page Printable

Have fun coloring and boost creativity with these free life cycle coloring pages. Perfect for children ages 2 and up. Use this dynamic activity instead of worksheets in the classroom. They are a developmentally appropriate and educational way for preschoolers to learn.  Use it to teach metamorphosis or a great spring activity.

free life cycle of a butterfly coloring pages

Let’s Start Coloring

Setting up a butterfly life cycle activity is easy. 

Print out a copy of the free coloring pages now, so you have them on hand the next time your little learner wants to play.

Build their curiosity and show them how to make learning fun.

What’s Next?

  • Sign up for my newsletter. I send one play activity idea, once a week, giving you some serious inspiration for what to do with your toddler or preschooler that week. I send out freebies and special treats, all for my email list.
  • Read the rest of my blog. It’s home to lots of play & learn activities, arts & crafts projects, activities to build your kiddo’s cognitive skills, and Montessori activity ideas and info.
  • Shop my printable activities. Explore nature-themed printable activities for your toddler and preschooler to help them learn through play. All hands-on activities — the healthiest way for your young kiddo to learn. And designed with watercolor artwork, so you’ll love adding it to your beautiful home.

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I'm Stefanie—Founder & Designer For Little Moon

If you’re a toddler or preschooler parent who dreams of having a kid who is captivated by learning — but are too busy raising your tiny human on exactly 3 hours of sleep to research educational activities — nice to meet you, I’m your new solution.

I’m a cognitive psychologist + toddler mom, and I design nature printable activities to help your little one grow, learn and thrive through hands-on play, in a healthy way.

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