Squish Art Butterflies


  • Cardstock, paint, or heavy paper (light paper like printer paper can tear easily)
  • Liquid Paint – tempera or acrylic work great. Use squeeze bottles for easy application!
  • Craft tray or large scrap paper to protect your work surface


  1. Fold your paper in half. Crease then unfold.
  2. Squeeze out several blobs of paint along the crease of your paper
  3. Refold your paper with the paint inside.

  4. Use your hand to squish the paint and push it toward the open side of paper. Do this on your craft tray or scrap paper in case some paint leaks out the edges.

  5. Unfold and see the cool design you just painted!

  6. Lay flat to dry completely.

Optional: Cut a butterfly shape from your paper.

Optional: While paint is still wet, sprinkle and little glitter on your painting for additional shine!

Suggested project uses

This project can be used in the following ways:

  • Teach your child about colors and color mixing
  • Use with a Letter B lesson plan
  • Use this techniques to paint other shapes – flowers, hearts, stars, etc.
  • Whatever you use this project for, remember to proudly display your child’s masterpiece!

Discussion suggestions:

Here is a list of things you can talk about while doing this project with your child:

  • Talk about the different colors of paint you chose. Compare them to other things around the room that is the same color.
  • Show your child color mixing. Use only primary color paint and have you child make a hypothesis about what other colors could appear after squishing. Make sure to press your hand in different directions while squishing to ensure the paint gets mixed together!
  • Talk about butterflies. Parts of the butterfly. Use this project to make wings. Cut out the wing shape from the painted paper once it’s completely dry. Then add a long oval for the body and a circle for the head. Have your child draw a face on the circle.
  • Ask you child their observations during the project. What does it feel like to push the paint? Does the paper change as the paint is being pushed? What different techniques can you use while pushing? What textures do you observe when the painting is unfolded?


While working on this project, your child will be practicing the following skills:

  • Fine motor
  • Colors/color mixing
  • Scientific Method
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Observations