Build the 4 stages of the Monarch butterfly life cycle – with LEGO® bricks!

A few years ago, we were able to watch two Monarch butterflies emerge from their chrysalides. It was pretty amazing. The boys have always loved animals and nature, especially Gresham, so we love learning about wildlife wherever we can.

When kids create their own model of a scientific process, they remember it so much better! And LEGO bricks are so handy for creating all kinds of things. Pull out the LEGO bricks and challenge the kids to make their own model of butterfly metamorphosis!

This post was update on March 3, 2024.

Stage 1: Egg

We used a 2 x 2 white dome with a 2 x 2 white round plate under it. Honestly, even a 2 x 2 white brick would be great!

Stage 2: Caterpillar

For the caterpillar, we started with a 2 x 12 black plate. Then I added 1 x 2 bricks in white, yellow, and black. Add antennae if you have them.

Stage 3: Chrysalis

The chrysalis is super simple! I used three 2 x 2 lime green bricks with a 2 x 2 dome on top.

Stage 4:  Butterfly

It’s a little tricky to build a LEGO butterfly that looks just like a monarch, haha! This was the closest I could get. Honestly, if kids can make the black wings with any type of orange and white pattern you’re good.

The wings on my butterfly are in four sections. However, kids do not need to build them exactly like mine!

The top wings are made up of a 2 x 8 black plate, a 4 x 8 black wedge plate, and a 2 x 4 black wedge plate. The black wedge plates are VERY retired apparently (just looked them up on BrickLink) but other similar pieces will work great.

If you’re going to order pieces for this project, I’d go with this current 8 x 3 wedge plate. Keep in mind that some wedge plates come with a left or right orientation. You’ll need one of each.

The bottom wings are each made with a 4 x 4 black wedge plate and a 6 x 6 black wedge plate.

I built a tree so that I could hang the chrysalis from a branch. The whole metamorphosis fits on a 32 x 32 baseplate! So convenient.

Now we just need some LEGO® milkweed, and we’ll be all set!

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  1. Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life Mar 5, 2015

    What an awesome idea! My boys LOVE all things bugs and animals and I know they'd enjoy this. Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. Kristina @ School Time Snippets Apr 2, 2015

    Such a neat activity!

  3. Er Jul 1, 2018

    I stumbled on this and would like a lis r of pieces used. It's a really neat project.


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