Butterflies + Migration Unit: Butterfly Pollination Activity

Butterflies are one of our favorite pollinators! We’ve discussed in other activities how other animals help to get plants the pollen they need to make seeds, but in this post, we’re taking a closer look at the butterfly proboscis (AKA, a long, strawlike tongue that coils and uncoils) and how a butterfly spreads pollen when it drinks a flower’s nectar.

What you need:
What to do:

Print two blank flower blossoms on colorful cardstock (anything except yellow will do!). Note: You may want to do this activity outside! Use a rolled piece of masking tape to attach each blossom to the floor.

Pour a small dab of yellow paint in the center of one flower. Explain to your child that this is your “pollen.”

Give your child a blowout and have them try it out (without hitting the paint first). Explain that a butterfly’s tongue works just like this blowout, rolling and unrolling as they drink nectar.

Now, tell your child to “drink” from the flower with the paint on it. Have them drink a couple of times, making sure the “tongue” hits the pollen.

Next, have them drink from the second flower. Point out how the pollen has transferred to the second bloom. This is how butterflies pollenate!

Repeat the activity as many times as desired!

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