Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft

This coffee filter butterfly craft is a great fine motor and bilateral coordination activity for kids. If you are looking for butterfly life cycle crafts, this one is a great addition. Or, if you are seeking Spring OT activities, be sure to add this colorful fine motor butterfly craft to your list.

Coffee filter butterfly craft to build fine motor skills in kids.

Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft

This coffee filter craft is a nice one to develop skills because it works on so many areas that are covered in therapy sessions:

  • Pinch and grip strength
  • Eye hand coordination
  • Bilateral coordination
  • Motor planning
  • Crossing midline
  • Precision and dexterity
  • Open-thumb web-space
  • Arch development
  • Separation of the sides of the hand
  • Finger isolation
  • Thumb IP joint flexion (great for pencil grasp!)

How to make a coffee filter butterfly craft

This was an easy set-up and fun craft we did one afternoon recently.  You’ll need the following materials:

  • Coffee filters
  • Water color paints/water
  • A straw
  • Clothes pin
  • Pipe cleaner
  • String (to make a banner)

Directions: Use a paint brush to add a bit of water to the wells of a water color paint pallet. To really work on fine motor skills, use your thumb to drop water droplets into the paint tubs. Using the straw to drip water into the water colors can be a challenging fine motor task but one that really develops separation of the sides of the hands, thumb IP joint flexion, and motor planning skills. Read more about the thumb IP joint and thumb wrap grasp in pencil grip. This craft is a powerful way to work on this functional grasp skill!

Make a coffee filter craft and build fine motor skills with kids using a straw to paint.

Little Guy and Big Sister both loved dropping the water into the color wells.  Big Sister felt pretty good about showing her little brother how to drop the water into the color wells using her straw. 

Use straws to paint with watercolors and work on fine motor skills with kids.

This is a great activity to work on thumb isolation and control of the thumb during fine motor activities. 

Next, dip the edges of the coffee filters into the colors so the water creeps onto the edges of the coffee filter.

Other ways to add the color can use the straw end or the paint brush. This craft is nice because it can be adjusted for many different kids.

When kids drip the color on with a paintbrush, or drop color with the straw, it’s fun to try different ways to color the filters and see the colors blend together.  

Work on fine motor strength with clothes pins to make a butterfly coffee filter craft.

Next, use clothes pins to pinch the middle of the coffee filter together in the middle. This is a great hand strengthening and eye-hand coordination task.

Finally, add a pipe cleaner to the end of the clothes pin for the antenna of the coffee filter butterfly. Bend the pipe cleaner around the clothes pin and twist it up to make antenna.

Coffee filter butterfly craft for building fine motor skills.

If you like to create several butterflies in a variety of colors, you can clip them onto the string for an other bilateral coordination task.

They look pretty!  Big Sister wanted to hang them on the ceiling of her room.  We strung the butterflies on yarn and taped them to her ceiling.  This would be a great way to display a whole client caseload of coffee filter butterflies and really show off those fine motor skills!

Add this butterfly craft to a butterfly theme in therapy or home programing.

These heavy work cards include a page of butterfly life cycle activities that incorporate calming heavy work activities for motor planning and proprioceptive benefits.

Or, in the Spring Fine Motor Kit, you’ll find butterfly and caterpillar activities that are designed to build a variety of fine  motor manipulation, dexterity, and strengthening tasks.

Butterfly coffee filter craft

Spring Fine Motor Kit

Score Fine Motor Tools and resources and help kids build the skills they need to thrive!

Developing hand strength, dexterity, dexterity, precision skills, and eye-hand coordination skills that kids need for holding and writing with a pencil, coloring, and manipulating small objects in every day task doesn’t need to be difficult. The Spring Fine Motor Kit includes 100 pages of fine motor activities, worksheets, crafts, and more:

Spring fine motor kit set of printable fine motor skills worksheets for kids.
  • Lacing cards
  • Sensory bin cards
  • Hole punch activities
  • Pencil control worksheets
  • Play dough mats
  • Write the Room cards
  • Modified paper
  • Sticker activities

Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

Spring Fine Motor Kit
Spring Fine Motor Kit: TONS of resources and tools to build stronger hands.

Grab your copy of the Spring Fine Motor Kit and build coordination, strength, and endurance in fun and creative activities. Click here to add this resource set to your therapy toolbox.

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to



4 thoughts on “Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft”

  1. This turned out so pretty, and looks like something even my craft-challenged hands could do. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing with Saturday Spotlight. Have a great weekend and come back soon!

  2. Before even opening this post I thought that my daughter would love to hang something like this in her room. Guess little girls think alike. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this great idea at the Discover and Explore themed linky. I'm excited to see what you share for our future themes.

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coffee filter butterfly craft for kids