Butterfly Life Cycle Cootie Catcher

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Today, I have a stunning Butterfly Life Cycle Printable for you. This is a fabulous interactive STEAM craft project – make your own Butterfly Life Cycle Cootie Catcher or Fortune Teller! As you know, we are a great fan of using Cootie Catchers to share educational information.. and so we created this Butterfly Life Cycle Resource for you!

This is a sponsored post and brought to you in in association with very.co.uk

butterfly life cycle
A fun Butterfly Life Cycle “craftivity”

I confess, I can never decide whether to call this origami paper toy a Cootie Catcher (which tends to be used more in America) or a Fortune Teller (tends to be used more in the UK). They are of course totally interchangeable and will find that I use both terms. I hope you don’t mind!

Anyway.. onto the butterflies and their life cycle!

What is the life cycle of the butterfly? What are the 4 stages of a butterfly?

Butterflies go through what is called a complete metamorphosis, which is greek for “transformation” or “changing shape”. In a complete metamporphosis, the young tend to look completely different and also often eat different food. There are four stages in the butterfly life cycle – which we will describe below. But in summary, you have:

  • The butterfly egg
  • The larva or caterpillar stage
  • The chrysalis or pupa stage
  • The adult butterfly stage

How long does the life cycle of a butterfly last?

The complete life cycle for butterflies does vary depending on the butterfly type. Especially since many adult butterflies only live 1-3 weeks, but some butterflies do hibernate over winter so live a few months.

There are more similarities in te egg/ larva and pupa stages. Roughly speaking:

  • Egg phase – 4-10 days
  • Larva stage – 10 – 20 days
  • Chrystalis stage – around 10 days
  • Adult butterfly – mostly 1-3 weeks, but soe living up to 180 days!

This website lists them all for different butterflies.

How long do butterflies live for?

Many people ask do butterflies live only one day? This is incorrect. Though butterflies only live a short while – usually between 2-3 weeks, some can live for months. But very few species live for less than 7 days.

Describe each butterfly life cycle stage:

The Butterfly Egg

The first stage of the butterfly life cycle is the egg stage. The females lay their tiny eggs on leaves. Depending on the type of butterfly, this can be individual single eggs or clusters of eggs. Most butterflies will lay hundreds of eggs on leaves. Where the egg hatches later.

The Butterfly Caterpillar

The next stage is the caterpillar or larva stage. It is also called the feeding stage when the hatching will occur! The butterfly larva is a caterpillar. It is very hungry and will eat lots at this stage and grow.

The Butterfly Chrysalis or Pupa

The third stage is the Chrysalis. This is also called the transition stage. This is a complete metamorphosis of the caterpillar to butterfly transformation. Once it has reach the right size, it will form the chrysalis.

The Butterfly

The fourth stage and final stage, is the adult butterfly stage. This is the reproductive stage of the butterfly. The butterly hatches when it is ready. The chrysalis splits and the adult butterfly emerges. It wings will be wet, so it will not be able to fly yet. They will need to dry a little first. Once ready, the butterfly will feed and look to mate and the females will lay more eggs. And so the life cycle begins again.

Other Butterfly Resources

Insect lore (not affiliated) has wonderful monarch butterfly “kits”. My children love this experience, watching the caterpillars grow quickly from tiny little specks to nice chunky caterpillars. Then turning into a chrysalis and eventually emerging (messily) as butterflies and watching their wings dry. It truly is magical! You can reuse the net over and over again, and simply buy additional caterpillars.

I advise AGAINST their stick insects as they multiply madly and should not be released into the wild here in the UK.

We have lots of LOVELY butterfly crafts you can try here – for lots of different age groups!

This fascinating transformation from egg, to caterpillar to butterfly is captured in our life cycle printable!

So, we have this fabulous educational toy for you today. Courtesy to the very.co.uk.


We have several versions of this printable – so you can use it in whatever way you wish. You can use the “blank” version – and have yourself a lovely flower cootie catcher! Two use and play with as with any other cootie catchers – your own questions and answers, etc… children can also draw their own life cycle if they wish. Or you can dig out 8 facts about butterflies and add those yourself.

You can use the version, where you have all the life stages… and then you add your own hand written facts on the inside and test each other. E.g. younger children can focus on “just” learning the names of the life cycle stages…

The “full” information printable, that shares basic facts about each butterfly life cycle stage.

So.. let’s get started!

Supplies needed for your Butterfly Life Cycle Cootie Catcher

  • A good quality home or office printer
  • Your printable
  • Printer paper
  • Coloring pencils or pens
  • Scissors
  • A little glue (for adding the external butterflies)

The complete set of our butterfly life cycle paper toy printables is available here today. This is includes printable folding instructions and a set of 5 fortune tellers. Different variations for different classroom uses. I have made my “hand colored” cootie catcher available too – just because I know some will ask. Please note that this is literally just a scan of my coloured butterfly fortune teller, but should still print nicely!

How to make a Fortune Teller/ Cootie Catcher

We have made MANY MANY MANY fortune tellers here before.. some that need printables like our butterfly life cycle fortune teller, and many others, that you can decorate in your own way (for example our oh so cute and oh so easy Piggy Fortune Tellers).

We “borrow” the basic fortune teller step by step instructions again for you today. The printable pack includes illustrated step instructions too.

Print your butterfly life cycle

Select and print your Cootie Catcher of choice!

Colour in the butterflies and flowers, as well as the four stages of the butterfly life cycle.

Cut out the basic square of your cootie catcher, as well as the two “spare” butterflies.

Assemble your butterfly life cycle paper toy

Placing the printable face down to start.

How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions - Learn how to make a Fortune Teller and how to play with them!! Easy Origami for Kids #cootiecatcher #fortuneteller #chatterbox #origami #forkids #papercrafts #paper

Begin by folding the paper across the diagnoal in both directions – so you get a cross shape (bottom left photo)

Bring each corner towards the middle/ inside and make a neat fold (picture 4 shows the first fold).

How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions - Learn how to make a Fortune Teller and how to play with them!! Easy Origami for Kids #cootiecatcher #fortuneteller #chatterbox #origami #forkids #papercrafts #paper

Once you have all four folds (top right) – use your thumbs to make neat creases. Flip your paper over.

You will see another “cross” running across you paper.

Again, bring each corner in and fold towards the middle (as per bottom right photo).

How to make a Cootie Catcher Step by Step Instructions - Learn how to make a Fortune Teller and how to play with them!! Easy Origami for Kids #cootiecatcher #fortuneteller #chatterbox #origami #forkids #papercrafts #paper

Once you have all for folds, fold in half (as per top right), open and fold in half again in the other direction. Just to create some creases.

Now comes the “only” tricky bit.. you need to squeeze all four sides in towards each other as per the bottom left images.

Then lift each outside flap to make your Cootie Catcher! ENJOY!!!

So if you have ever wondered how do you make an origami fortune teller, I do hope you now have your answer!

Thank you again for the team at very.co.uk for sponsoring today’s post and enabling me to bring this gorgeous printable to you today! Woohoo! So much fun!

Butterfly Life Cycle printable

Very.com and their fabulous printers

A quick shout out to our sponsored today! Very were kind enough to sponsor this post for you today.. enabling us to know only produce this gorgeous Butterfly Life Cycle craft, but to bring to you free of charge. Woohoo! It is the perfect cratf to go with their fantastic printer range – suitable for both home use or business use! So if you are working from home, homeschooling or just having some crafty fun.. do check out their range of printers today.

We tried out their  HP Smart Tank Plus 570 Wireless printer – a wireless printer is particularly handy in our home office, as we need to make the most of space where we can grab it. I tested out my full colour printable and it came out so well! I think you will love it too! Now on to the craft.