Butterfly Act!

Help your child learn about the stages of metamorphosis!

  • Target Age:  3-6 
  • Learning Goals: animals, vocabulary
  • Related Episodes: Episode 4268: Elmo and the Monarch Butterfly


  1. Visit your local library with your child and look at pictures in books of butterflies just like Elmo and Telly did.
  2. While looking at the pictures, point out how a butterfly starts as an egg, changes into a caterpillar, then a chrysalis, and finally a beautiful butterfly. This big change is also called a metamorphosis.
  3. Now that you know about the stages of butterflies, act out the process of metamorphosis. Together think about ways to show each step.
  4. Start out as tiny eggs, rolled up in a ball on the floor!
  5. Next, wiggle around the ground like hungry caterpillars looking for leaves to eat!
  6. Then, stand with your arms touching above your head as you hide in your chrysalis!
  7. Finally spread your wings and fly away like a butterfly!

Talk About It

Talk about where you have seen butterflies in real life. What about caterpillars? What did they look like and what were they doing? Do you see more butterflies in the winter or summer?

Take It Further

Butterflies are not the only animals that go through metamorphosis. Look through other books at your library or go on the computer to find out more about animals that go through metamorphosis. Try acting out another animal's life cycle!


Find more activities featuring your child’s favorite PBS KIDS character!