Messy play for Matilda Mae – Butterfly Sun-catchers


I’m not sure how messy this was, but we definitely thought of Matilda Mae while making them! I like to think she’s in not only the rain but the sun shining on us and the first time I ever played the violin in her name, at a Classical Babies concert, a huge ray of sun shone through the stained-glass window of the church we were playing in, lighting up only my music stand and only for the movement that I dedicated to her, before disappearing for the rest of the concert at the last line of the piece. I felt that she was coming to say hello and I do associate her with sunshine still now. So stained-glass effect, beautiful, coloured sun-catcher butterflies just had Baby Tilda written all over them for me!

I saw this idea on pinterest yesterday and it’s not like me to actually do any of the things I pin so I feel pretty proud of myself! I’m also proud of myself because today is not going very well, parenting-wise and I need a break from my kids so bad! – just for a couple of hours – so brownie points to me for persevering with trying to turn a bad day good (if only to balance out the points I lost by shouting and drinking wine before 5pm…)

The idea itself is pretty simple but some of the steps are quite fiddly to execute, especially cutting out the holes in the template. I don’t know what I was thinking when I imagined Lucian would be joining in with this! We put Peppa Pig on for him to watch and he happily left us to it. So Gabs and I got on with it. To start I printed, onto the black card, the butterfly template from and drew around the outline in white pencil so Gabi could see well enough to cut it out himself (with his cute giraffe safety scissors which he loves!)

Apart from clipping the top off one of the wings and me doing the antennae for him I thought he did a great job. While I was cutting mine he got bored and drew around one of the other templates with the white pencil, also pretty neatly for a three year old.


Then he had to hand over to me to use the craft knife and the cutting board. This was the fiddly, slightly time-consuming bit. Gabs got bored and watched TV. I wasn’t amazing at this to start with (and figured it best to start with his so it merged better with his wobblier outline – it did look like a three year old did it to begin with!) but by the time I got to mine I’d got steadier.


The most fun part, from Gabs’ point of view was putting the glue on the template and sticking the strips of coloured tissue paper on in a rainbow-pattern. Then we had to wait patiently for the glue to dry which gave him time to get sent to bed for more naughtiness, whatever it was… there have been that many things today, I can’t remember.

After dinner, probably the best bit… we cut round the butterfly outline to get rid of the excess tissue paper and voilà: beautiful butterflies!! Gabs was delighted with them, especially once we strung them up to hang and twirl at the window and catch what little light there is today. Can’t wait to see them when the sun comes out, hopefully tomorrow!



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