chrysalis hunting activity for kids

Chrysalis Hunting and Butterfly Activities for Kids

While I was out in the garden the other day I spotted a chrysalis on a flower pot. By the time I told the kids the next day the flower pot had been moved and the chrysalis gone. The children were disappointed until I suggested we hunt for some more!

chrysalis hunting activity for kids

What a chrysalis looks like.

Having not bothered to take a photo at the time, I got a bit stuck when they asked what a chrysalis looked like. Here’s what I managed to come up with:

  • They’re slightly less than an inch long.
  • They’re browny-yellow.
  • They might have spots on.
  • They’ll be stuck to something vertical.
  • If the butterfly has emerged, the chrysalis shell will be papery and white.

What you need.

If you’re just observing like we did, then all you need is your eyes, somewhere to hunt and some appropriate outdoor clothes. If you want to collect the spent chrysalises, then I recommend using a clean, clear glass jar and a pencil or something similar to coax the chrysalis into the jar with.

An important note: please don’t collect living chrysalises. Just leave them where they are. They are living things and should not be disturbed.

chrysalis hunt butterfly emerging from chrysalis

Our chrysalis hunt.

We were only searching for about five minutes before finding a living chrysalis on the frame of my back door. On another part of the same frame we found a butterfly that had died while emerging from the chrysalis. On the frame of my living room window we found a papery, white chrysalis shell.

For some reason, there seemed to be more on our door frames than on our fence. Is it because they’re just easier to see or do they prefer the plastic?

I asked Caden if he wanted to take the chrysalis shell and dead butterfly chrysalis into school to show his classmates. He said that his friends would be too sad about the dead butterfly – he’s so caring!

sage growing in the garden

Butterfly activities from around the web.


Of course I couldn’t have a butterfly activity list without featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Here’s a video of the author, Eric Carle, reading it. It’s one of my favourite early years reads and a book every child should have.

Twinkl has loads of butterfly themed activities. My favourites are this butterfly reading comprehension activity and this cute origami butterfly activity. EdPlace has worksheets on the life cycle of a butterfly.

My Butterfly Lady has an amazing Pinterest board packed full of butterfly arts and crafts. Hobbycraft have an amazing selection of butterfly themed craft supplies.

Hatch your own butterflies with this amazing Butterfly Garden kit from Insect Lore. Try these butterfly life cycle figures too!

chrysalis hunting activity for kids

You Baby Me Mummy


  1. Can’t understand where a chrysalis would have gone! They don’t have legs! Would it have been eaten I wonder? Time to make a bug hotel with the children maybe? Sounds like they’re motivated. Unfortunately the children in my family are currently too old or too young for such an activity. My one year old granddaughter likes to pick the daisies and sometimes have a chew.

    1. Author

      I think Ian must have knocked it off when he was potting on. The boys love to be in the garden – Rhian not so much! I think they’d love to make a bug hotel. I would have better luck asking Rhian to design a pair of gardening gloves as fashion is her new “thing” 🙂

      Your granddaughter might like dandelions – the petals taste a bit like honey.

    1. Author

      I seem to be finding a lot this year. The caterpillars loved the black mustard plant I had in my garden.

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