Cotton Wool Ball Butterflies


 We had yet another wet day over here on the East coast of Ireland yesterday. So I set up a butterfly painting activity for Bella to help brighten up our morning, whilst the boys were in school.  I’ve been doing a lot of colour recognition activities with Bella over the last few weeks and I wanted to use this exercise to help reinforce what she has learnt so far. Getting toddlers hands-on with colours provides the perfect opportunity for you to talk to your toddler and ask then questions about the colours that they are using.  To extend the activity further, I also introduced some simple colour mixing using the three primary colours red, yellow and blue, to mix up some orange and green coloured paints.

I cut out some butterfly templates ahead of the session and added a splodge of red, yellow and blue paint to three individual paper plates. This was to discourageBella from moving straight onto the colour mixing part of the activity. Instead of brushes we used cotton wool balls clipped onto pegs.  Bella is not quite able to open pegs up herself yet, but had her brothers being doing this activity as well, it would have been a great lesson for strengthening on their fine motor skills.

I folded the butterfly template in half, as I only wanted Bella to paint onto one side of it. Once she had done this, I then helped her to press a mirror image of her paint pattern onto the other side, like a real butterfly has. Bella was very pleased with her pretty butterflies.

For the second part of the activity I took the plate with the red paint on and added a splodge of yellow paint. I then encouraged Bella to mix the two together using the cotton wool ball on the peg again.  She was a little reluctant at first, so I started to mix the paint for her, which ofcourse then made her want to take over. “Look mummy orange,” she told me as the two colours merged together.  We then added a yellow splodge to the blue paint and she was much more eager to mix this time. This created a lovely green coloured paint. She then got stuck into her new colours to decorate some more butterfly pictures in the same way.

To finish off the butterflies I cut out a body from an old brown paper bag.  Bella then added on googly eyes. I added on a smile with a black pen and then snipped a cotton bud into two to use for the antennaes.

 Bella’s butterflies have now flown up onto one of our windows to help distract us from the constant rain!

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