One easy butterfly feeder will take a paper plate or, if you like, something a little more permanent. Butterflies like over-ripe and rotting fruits and vegetables. Simply put old fruit and vegetables from your kitchen on the plate. The more colorful it is, the better. Butterflies like color. You can even decorate the plate with old plastic flowers or fruit to add color if you like. Then simply place it on a fence post or hang it from a low branch on a tree. Butterflies will come to feed and you can watch. Be sure to take away dried or moldy food. Butterflies like it moist.
Another feeder is made using butterfly food. This one takes a little more effort but it is still not difficult. Take 4 parts water and one part sugar. Boil until the sugar has dissolved. Let the mixture cool then absorb it with a paper towel or sponge. If you serve it in a shallow container like a plate, just lay the paper towel or sponge on the plate and place it in with your flower garden or on a fence post. If you like you can place colorful rocks or even fruit on the plate too. That gives the butterfly a landing spot.
An old canning jar with its lid makes a good feeder. Use a colorful sponge that has been soaked with butterfly food. After you have poked holes in the jar lid with a nail, place the sponge and any remaining food inside the jar so the sponge seals the holes. You don't want the food to drip onto the ground. Hang from a low branch on a tree.The nice thing about a jar is that you can get creative with the way to make the bright colors. Crayons and paint are two things to use.
Those brightly colored sponges that you see in the dollar store will come in handy. You can soak several (maybe one for each child) and hang them from a tree. They will look like pretty decorations even before the butterflies find them. Hooks for Christmas tree ornaments make good hangers.
A fun feeder for the little ones is to place a bucket or coffee can filled with gravel or small rocks in a hole. Then fill in the container to the top and over with mud... nice wet mud. If you have old fruit, put some at the edge. Butterflies, especially the males, like mud and will hover to give you a good show. Make sure to keep it wet.
I love watching butterflies flit from place to place and so do most children. If you purchase a butterfly field guide, it can also become a learning experience for all. Have fun.