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Talking Pictures Week 13: Butterflies and Caterpillars

Butterflies, c. 1973, Painting, Robert Matthews, Crawford Art Gallery

Talking Pictures for Children 

Talking Pictures is an online resource for children and their adults based on artwork from the Crawford Art Gallery Collection. We will share creative prompts for happy talk and play every Wednesday.

About the artwork
This bright painting of butterflies and caterpillars was created using oil paint by the artist Robert Matthews. There are lots of different species (types) of butterflies in this painting. You can see the artist has signed his name (RM) down the bottom right of the painting but it looks like another caterpillar.

Look closely at the painting
How many butterflies can you count?
Are any two of the butterflies the same?
Can you remember seeing any of these butterflies outdoors?
How many caterpillars can you count in the grass at the bottom of the painting?
Did you know that a caterpillar turns into a butterfly!?

Life cycle of a butterfly

Let’s Pretend!

Can you act out the life cycle of a butterfly?

Start out as an egg rolled up tight in a ball, staying very still.

Next, hatch out into a caterpillar crawling around on your belly, with your hands close by your side, wriggling on the floor. Pretend to munch on some leaves.

Next, roll up tight in like you are in a cocoon, you could put a blanket on you too to look more cocoon-like. Stay very still and then start to wriggle.

Finally, you can break out of the cocoon and fly around like a big beautiful colourful butterfly.

Tell a Story!
Kailey the Caterpillar was sad. She wished she was a butterfly so she could fly high in the sky. Kailey crawled under a tree where she met Mrs. Ladybird. Mrs. Ladybird saw that Kailey looked sad and said…

(Continue telling the story and draw it out if you’d like)

Bug Word Scramble…Can you unscramble the different bug names?











Nature Scavenger Hunt
Draw out this table at home (or you could ask your adult to take a screenshot on their phone and draw the ticks onto the picture on the phone). Out in the garden (or the park or countryside), see if you can find everything on the list and tick them off as you do. Some things may be easier to find than others but keep looking!

Let’s Make!

Circle Caterpillar

Circle caterpillar

How to make a Circle Caterpillar:
Cut out circles, all the same size, out of coloured paper or colourful plastic or paper packaging. You could use a circular lid or jar to draw around to get a neat circle. Arrange the circles so they are overlapping like in the picture and stick down onto a background of your choice using glue or the simple paste glue from the recipe below. Cut out two small circles for eyes and draw in the mouth and the dots in the eyes. Cut out strips of card or packaging and curl up the ends to make feet and antennae (feelers) and stick these on to complete your caterpillar.

Cut circle

How to make a simple glue at home:
Mix one part flour with one part water (eg, 1 cup flour and 1 cup water, or 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water) until you get a thick glue-like consistency. Add a bit more water if it's too thick. Mix well with a spoon to get rid of all the lumps. Add in 2 teaspoons of salt at the end to prevent it from going mouldy. Now you are ready to use your paste glue to make a caterpillar or other crafts!

Answers to last week’s Spot the Difference: Did you find them all?

Image Credit: Norah Brigid Ni Chuill (1924/25 - 1993), Game of Cards, 1959
Spot the difference answers

We would love to hear your stories and artworks inspired by Talking Pictures! Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #crawfordartgalleryhomelife.

Please share:

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T12 TNE6
Tel: 021 480 5042

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