This is a great birthday party craft which I found in "The Children's Year" by Cooper, Fynes-Clinton, and Rowling! We did it for my daughter's 3rd grade birthday a long time ago as a part of a fairy birthday celebration, and it was a lot of fun. Children that age can do most of the craft on their own. We recently did this at a party for a first grader and the children needed a lot of adult help.
I prepared some beautiful tissue paper in a selection of colors cut four inches square, and
some black pipe cleaners folded in half.
I had sticks which had recently been pruned from a plane tree, but of course you could buy small dowels.
I tied pretty little ribbons onto the ends of the sticks and secured with a dot of glue. You could use thread or string if you want. I added a jewel to each stick for some sparkle.
Show the children how to put a twist in the bend of the pipe cleaner for the bottom of the butterfly.
Each child may pick two colors of tissue paper and pinch the middle together. These are the wings.
Now place the wings between the twisted pipe cleaner and twist the top to make a head and the antennae. This part was hard for first graders because of the difficulty holding the scrunched tissue paper while twisting the pipe cleaner. Now knot the ribbon below the antennae. The wands are done! The children at the party ran and played and danced with their butterflies held aloft and flying behind them! It was so cute, I wish you could have seen it.
Look how pretty the butterflies look all collected in a box. If you had a tall vase they would make a beautiful centerpiece when you sit down for birthday cake.
This craft costed about 4 francs per piece, with tons of left over tissue paper for other projects. That's not too bad a price for a children's craft in Switzerland. It would cost a lot less in most other places depending on what materials you use....