Tag Archives: thumbprint butterflies

Thumbprint Butterflies

By John Bomhoff
Art Studio Manager, Children’s Museum of Phoenix

This week is all about butterflies at the Children’s Museum of Phoenix.

Ages: preschool & up.

Materials: 9” X 12” piece of construction paper, stamp pads with colored ink or assorted colors of tempera paint and markers.


Look at pictures of butterflies.

Choose a piece of paper.

Press your thumb onto a stamp pad or into a small puddle of paint.

Press your thumb on the paper four times to create the wings of a butterfly.

Use markers to add a body and antennae.

Create a picture around your butterflies.  Add more insects.


You can begin this project by sharing a book about butterflies with your child.  Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek is a wonderful picture book that introduces the child to colors in addition to butterflies.  Following are some fun butterfly facts to share with your child:

  • Butterflies range in size from 1/8 inch to almost 12 inches wide.
  • There are about 24,000 species of butterflies
  • Butterflies and insects have their skeletons on the outside of their bodies, called the exoskeleton.  This protects the insect and keeps moisture inside their bodies.
  • Butterflies can see red, green, and yellow.
  • Butterflies can fly as fast as 12 miles per hour.
  • Monarch butterflies journey over 2,000 miles from the Great Lakes to spend the winter in the Gulf of Mexico.  They return north again in the spring.
  • Most butterflies have a short life span, but some do live for 9-10 months.


The mission of the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is to engage the minds, muscles and imaginations of children and the grown-ups who care about them. With hands-on, interactive exhibits designed for children ages birth to 10, the Museum focuses on learning through play, with emphasis on early childhood education and school-readiness.

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is located at 215 N. 7th St. in downtown Phoenix, at the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Van Buren in the historic Monroe School Building.