This fun and creative activity helps children visualise a Butterfly Life Cycle by encouraging them to think of edible items to represent each stage of the cycle.

Don’t forget I have lots more kitchen science experiments to try if you enjoy this one!

This activity would be great for younger children read alongside The Very Hungry Caterpillar too!

The Butterfly Life cycle

There are four stages in the life cycle of a butterfly which can take anywhere between one month to a whole year!

Stage 1 – Butterfly Egg

The first stage is the egg. Butterfly eggs are very small and round or oval. If you look carefully you might even see a teeny tiny caterpillar growing inside them! The actual shape of the egg depend on the type of butterfly inside. Butterfly eggs are laid on leaves.

Stage 2 – Caterpillar ( Larva )

We call butterfly larva caterpillars and it is these that hatch from the tiny eggs in stage 1. Caterpillars mostly eat!

Did you know that mother butterflies lay their eggs on a type of leaf their caterpillars will like? This is because caterpillars cannot easily travel to find a source of food they like.

The skin of a caterpillar doesn’t grow with the caterpillar so they shed their skin several times as they grow.

The caterpillars you can see below are from an Insect Lore Butterfly World set. I would 100% recommend getting it, releasing the adult butterflies into the world was just amazing!

Butterfly larva from insectlore

Stage 3 – Chrysalis ( Pupa )

Once the caterpillar is fully grown it forms a pupa or chrysalis around itself. Inside the chrysalis a transformation called metamorphosis occurs.

Pupa or chrysalis image

Stage 4 – Butterfly

Once the process of metamorphosis is complete the butterfly emerges from the chrysalis!

Female adult butterflies reproduce and lay eggs on leaves ready for the life cycle to start again.

Butterfly in flowers

Egg – Caterpillar – Chrysalis – Butterfly

candy butterfly life cycle - science for kids

How to make an edible butterfly life cycle

What you’ll need

Marshmallows, yoghurt raisins – eggs

Sweet Caterpillars, spring onion – caterpillars – you could use two different sizes here to show how the caterpillar grows.

Liquorice, long marshmallows, physalis – chrysalis.

Pasta bows, orange segments – butterfly

Paper plate or use my FREE printable life cycle.

Instructions for Butterfly Life Cycle

Look at all the items you have available and find the best match for each life cycle stage.

Place the items in the correct order on a paper plate and add arrows to show the direction of change.

Ask a friend if they can tell what each stage represents.

Caterpillars often shed their skin and eat lots of leaves, can you add these stages into your life cycle.

Extension ideas

Can you make a fruit and vegetable version of the butterfly life cycle?

Fruit butterfly life cycle
Butterfly Life cycle illustrated on a plate with peas, oranges and leaves.

Can you create an edible life cycle for a frog or ant?

Butterfly wings are symmetrical; can you draw a symmetrical butterfly?

More Science for Kids

Find out what dinosaurs ate by making dino poop!

Make a flowering plant life cycle plate!

Suitable for Key Stage 2 Science

Living Things and their Habitats

This activity was featured in Primary Science magazine from the ASE. Members can download content for free, including lots more activities like this one.

You can also find this activity in our first book Science Sparks!

Easy edible butterfly life cycle activity. Create an edible model of the lifecycle of a butterfly using fruit/vegetables or sweets #scienceforkids #biologyforkids #butterflylifecycle

If you like edible experiments, you’ll love my new book, Snackable Science too!

Affiliate links

Very hungry caterpillar life cycle activity

The post Edible Butterfly Life Cycle appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Originally posted at Science Sparks