Kid Craft: Butterfly Mirror Painting

Learn how to make beautiful mirror painting butterflies that your children can hang in their rooms!

This project is great for kids who like to explore abstract art as well as kids who like to get a bit messier than others. In order to do this project, you will need an artistic, creative mind, a few willing children, construction paper, paint brushes, paper plates, scissors, paint, and a large work area. You may want to have the children wear smocks in order to prevent paint-stained clothing. Also, you should also cover your work area with sheets of newspaper so that paint does not ruin the surface of your table!

To start, pour several different colors of paint onto paper plates, using one paper plate for each color of paint. Give each child a sheet of construction paper and a few paintbrushes. Advise the children to work on one side of the sheet of construction paper: these projects will be folded in half so that the paint mirrors itself. Let each child pick the colors he or she wants to use and let each child begin to paint their construction paper. Children should use more paint than they might normally use when painting a picture, because the layer of paint needs to be thick enough to transfer to the other side of the paper. Do not use too much paint, however! It will bleed through the construction paper. Tell children to be careful about their painting, but also quick in their actions. The paint should not have the opportunity to dry before the paper is folded.

Children can paint lines, stars, circles, or any other shape or design. These designs will be changed with the folding of the paper. When each child has completed the painting on their sheet of construction paper, have each child fold their paper in half, either on a horizontal or vertical line. Press the paper together so that the paint transfers from its original side to the next side. Then, open up the sheet of construction paper. Find a dry, clean area where all of the papers can dry without being disturbed.

When the paint on each paper has dried completely, have each child cut out the shape of a butterfly from their paper. The designs that the paint makes typically resemble a butterfly or other type of insect, so children should not have much difficulty choosing an insect to cut out. When each student has a cut out, have them put their names on the back. If you want, you can use a hole punch and some string to make the butterfly into a hanging decoration!

These decorations can be made in many sizes for wall hanging purposes. You do not have to use an entire sheet of construction paper. Also, this project can be adapted as children get older: lessons about color blending can be incorporated into this project because the folding of the paper frequently causes the blending of colors. Also, a lesson about geometry, angles, and reflections can be incorporated into this project by adapting the number and type of folds made in the construction paper.

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