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Pre-school / Kindergarten Activity

“Butterfly Art For Very Hungry Kids ”
Great for parties, school, or fun-at-home!
Kid in the Kitchen makes: Butterflies
Great for ages:
5 years old and up

What we’ll do:

  • Become familiar with caterpillars and butterflies in nature
  • Read about and see several types of butterflies
  • Create-your-own wing design for an edible butterfly cookie

What we’ll need:

  • Black licorice string; gumdrops; Pull n’ Peel Twizzlers or fruit leather
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Butterfly wing shape patterns cut from stiff paper or cardboard
  • Your favorite sugar cookie recipe; baking cocoa if making dark butterflies (For recipe using 3 ½ cup flour, use ¼ cup baking cocoa + 3 ¼ cup all purpose flour)
  • Cookie baking sheet pans
  • Prepared white icing
  • Clean, scissors for children (pre-wash in dishwasher)
  • 1 mixing bowl for cookie dough
  • Small mixing bowls for icing
  • Edible Paper (we used white)
  • Edible markers—Blue, red, orange, black, brown, pink OR gel decorator icings in tubes OR decorator tubes with icing
  • Icing spreaders
  • Granulated sugar
  • Edible Paints or food colors—Blue, black, yellow, red
  • Small plastic sandwich bags to mix sugar colors
  • Plastic mats or paper plates to work on

Ten Steps to Wings!

  1. Assemble all of your supplies.
  2. Mix and bake 2 ½ to 3-inch sugar cookies. (Use about 1½-inch dough balls; flatten with flat-bottomed glass). Use your favorite cookie mix or follow the recipe. Stir in baking cocoa with dry ingredients per recipe option for dark colored butterflies. Bake and cool cookies on a wire rack.
  3. Mix or open icing. Ice the cookies and let the icing harden. (The icing hardens in about 1 hour but it may take less or more time, depending on the weather. To make sure it's just right for painting, tap the icing with your finger. If it's firm, then you are ready to create!)
  4. Read one of the story options (or another favorite) about butterflies. While you read, have the children “squeeze” a bag of sugar to create sugar colors:

    Rainbow Colored Sugar
    • 1 sandwich bag per color
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar per bag
    • For red, green, blue or yellow, use 4-10 drops food color
    • Close bag and squeeze to color sugar.
    • Select from the color recipes below
    Color Number of Drops of Liquid Food Color
      Orange 2 drops yellow and 2 drops red
      Peach 4 drops yellow and 1 drop red
      Yellow 4 drops yellow
      Pale yellow 2 drops yellow
      Green 8 drops green
      Lime green 3 drops yellow and 1 drop green
      Blue 5 drops blue
      Turquoise 3 drops blue and 1 drop green
      Baby blue 2 drops blue
      Purple 3 drops red and 2 drops blue
      Red 10 drops red
      Rose 5 drops red and 1 drop blue
      Pink 1 drop red

    Wash hands and get ready to decorate!

  5. Using edible markers or decorator tube gel and edible paper, trace around the wing pattern you prepared, or have each child draw two wings for their butterfly directly on a cookie. Cut them out and lay them on their plastic mat or plate to begin decorating.

  6. Create patterns of stripes, dots and varied colors on the wings with edible markers or paints. Use mini chocolate chips for “dots” on wings.

  7. With edible paints or markers, or piped icing, outline the center and petals of a flower on the surface of the cookie. Spread a little icing in the centers of the petals and sprinkle colored sugar on the damp icing to create colored petals.

  8. Use a dab of frosting to hold a small piece of rolled fruit leather or Twizzler in the center of the cookie. (Butterfly body). Cut out small pieces of gumdrop for eyes—attach them with dabs of frosting. Press mini chocolate chips into the centers of the gumdrops for “buggy” eyes. Use licorice strings for antennae.

  9. Along the sides of the body, dab strips of frosting and stick the wings along side the body, placing them so they are “up” and ready to fly!

  10. Let children tell about their butterfly and enjoy!

Leftover colored sugars may be used to decorate more iced cookies or enjoyed on a favorite cereal!

Read-to-Me Book options:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Eric Carle. 1987. Philomel Books/Putnam & Grosset.
Waiting for Wings. Lois Ehlert. 2001. Harcourt, Inc.
Butterfly Field Guide (Butterfly examples) or
Visit: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center's Butterfly Guide

More sugar cookie and icing recipes at:

Also Check out: www.butterflywebsite.com

Created by: Sharon P. Davis, Family & Consumer Sciences Education, Home Baking Association

Another Great Recipe for Butter Cookies!

Springtime Butter Cookies
These easy cut-out sugar cookies are perfect for a special Spring cookie tray.

Preparation 45 min.
Chilling 2 hrs.
Baking 7 min.
Cooling 15 min.
Standing 6 hrs.

  • Cookie Ingredients
    • 1 cup LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Glaze Ingredients
    • 5 cups powdered sugar
    • 4 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • Food color, if desired
    • Decorator sugars and candies, if desired


Combine 1 cup butter, sugar and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy (2 to 3 minutes). Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Beat, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).

Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (2 hours).

Heat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 2 to 2 1/2-inch assorted cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned. Remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Combine powdered sugar, water, 2 tablespoons butter and corn syrup in small mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until powdered sugar is moistened. Continue beating, gradually adding additional water if necessary, until desired glazing consistency. Tint with food color, if desired.

Glaze cooled cookies. Place on cooling rack over waxed paper. Decorate with additional glaze, decorator sugars and candies as desired. Let stand until hardened (6 hours or overnight).

Yield: 3 dozen cookes

Nutrition Facts (1 cookie)

Calories: 170
Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 20 mg
Sodium: 95 mg
Carbohydrates: 29 g
Dietary Fiber: 1 g
Protein: 1 g

Provided by Land O Lakes Test Kitchens—www.landolakes.com

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