Butterfly sensory bags for preschoolers

I read this terrific idea over at Crafty-Crafted on how to make butterfly goody bags! As soon as I saw them, I started thinking of other ways you could use this idea….

When I see an idea that I love, I always want to see what else can be done with it….

I tried this several ways and each time, I learned something new so here is what I found worked best. Start by putting small drops of paint into a baggie (quart sized baggies or larger is best)…

My advice is not to use too much paint as you want to see the designs and color mixing as you go along…

Then I wrapped a length of tape across both edges of the baggie. I wanted to keep the edges straight for my butterfly wings plus I wanted to seal the open end of the baggie with the tape…

Then lay the baggie down flat and use your fingers to mix the colors of paint and spread them all around the inside of the baggie…

Any kind of packing tape or masking tape will do. I found this colorful packing tape at Walmart and have been saving it for awhile now…

Once all the paint is spread all about, then you are ready to twist a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) around the middle to make the butterfly antennae…

And there you have it! From butterfly goody bags to butterfly sensory bags!

By |2011-04-05T09:59:45+00:00April 5th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Heather@Family Friendly Frugality April 5, 2011 at 10:05 am - Reply

    We are TOTALLY doing this! Thank you!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Yeah! I am glad you like it!

  2. Holly Davis April 5, 2011 at 11:15 am - Reply

    I love this idea! Very neat.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Thank you Holly:)

  3. Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog April 5, 2011 at 11:45 am - Reply

    So cute!! Can’t wait to try it with my kiddos — thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Valerie!

  4. Alison April 5, 2011 at 11:49 am - Reply

    I love this! Will be linking to it at my facebook page!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      That is a very sweet thing to do! Thank you!

  5. Jackie Lee April 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    OMG as much as my daughter loves butterflies we’re going to HAVE to do this one. What a great idea. I NEVER would have thought of that. That’s why I just love your site. 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      I love butterflies too! I love that you can make them any color you want:)

  6. Kelly April 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Love this we have done something like this for a few years every spring. We also do the same thing with water color paints and coffee filters. So much fun!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      You’ve been holding out on us Kelly – I just figured this all out today!

  7. Pam April 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    I love this idea! I’ve seen this done in other ways (tissue paper inside the bag etc.) but this is the best idea I’ve seen for really letting the children explore in a sensory way! And color mixing included! We’re definitely going to do this! Perfect idea for us- thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2011 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      I am really excited to try it with the kids too – I have only tried it at home so far!

  8. Meenakshi April 6, 2011 at 5:56 am - Reply

    We will include these ideas, Thanks

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm - Reply


  9. Barbara April 6, 2011 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    This will be lots of fun for our students. Did you know that the white “label” on ziploc bags can be easily be removed with window cleaner and a paper towel…?

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm - Reply

      NO – I didn’t know that!! I am going to give that a try!

  10. artsy_momma April 7, 2011 at 1:18 am - Reply

    Wow, there are so many fun butterfly crafts lately!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm - Reply

      You gotta love butterflies:)

  11. annie newman crawley April 7, 2011 at 7:54 am - Reply

    I love this we are so gonna do it I’m even going to do it at home with my neices they will love it

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm - Reply

      You must be the coolest aunt!

  12. Joan April 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Loved doing this today with my preschool class! My teenage daughter was my helper today and she even had a blast! We made these with gallon-size baggies to make the experience last longer and I just happened to have some blue painter’s tape to finish off our lovely creations!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      That is terrific that your daughter helped you out! I think using the gallon sized bags was a great idea – I will have to give that a try too!

  13. Jen April 15, 2011 at 11:43 pm - Reply

    I always make these as snack bags to hide on the trail but have never seen them used for a sensory experence tks for the idea!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 16, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

      They really have worked out as a great sensory experience!

  14. […] Butterfly Craft: Butterfly Sensory Bags from Teach […]

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