Create Your Own Butterfly Kingdom with this Child-Friendly Project

As part of my ongoing summer effort to get my kids outside and keep them there, we recently constructed a butterfly haven. Butterflies are an excellent addition to any backyard or garden and attracting them is easy and doesn’t require much space. They gravitate toward bright colors and like to congregate in moist spots because they search for salt and other minerals in damp environs. Kids of all ages will get a kick out of building a haven and observing all of the butterflies that stop by to visit.

To build your own butterfly haven you will need:

  • A pie plate
  • Potting soil
  • Some flat rocks (these will weigh down the pie plate)
  • A few sponges in various bright colors
  • A pair of scissors
  • Water

How to Construct Your Butterfly Haven

Step one: Spread potting soil all in the bottom of the pie plate.

Step two: Arrange the rocks in the pie plate, making sure the entire plate is weighted.

Step three: Use the scissors to cut the sponges into shapes of all different sizes. Place the sponges between the rocks, so that all of the soil is covered.

Step four: Wet the sponges all the way through so the water seeps down into the potting soil. There shouldn’t be any standing water in the pie plate, but the sponges should be very wet.

Step five: Place your butterfly haven in the sun near other brightly colored flowers. Make sure your haven stays moist by watering it every other day or so.

That’s all there is to it! Once butterflies start to visit your haven, a book like this will provide a handy reference for determining which types of butterflies are visiting you. This is a great way to teach your kiddos the importance that butterflies and moths bring to the garden and world around them.

You can sit with your children and take photographs of the butterflies for them or you can give your child crayons and paper and have them sketch the different butterflies they see. Older kids might make a grid to record information such as the time of day when most butterflies frequent the haven and how long they stick around.



Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published August 20th, 2016
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