Discover and Explore Butterflies

Welcome to the first-ever Discover and Explore weekly themed linky! Each week we hope to collect a variety of resources based on a specific theme. I hope these posts become a fantastic list of inspiration and ideas that can be used by parents, teachers, and anyone who works with kids. Don’t forget to stop by  KC Edventures to check out what Jacquie is sharing for the butterfly theme.

Now let’s Discover and Explore Butterflies…

Butterfly Activities

We recently celebrated Tinker’s second birthday. For each birthday I try to relate the theme to something the girls are currently interested in, and this year’s theme was butterflies. One of the gifts we purchased for her was the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Pavilion, and it was probably the gift everyone in the family enjoyed most. The pavilion comes with a voucher for 6-10 caterpillars. I redeemed the voucher online (faster!), and we soon had two containers of tiny larvae to observe.

Although I’ve had the opportunity to raise caterpillars in a classroom setting before, this experience was much different for us. In the classroom for a variety of reasons, I didn’t give the kids enough time to just sit and watch the caterpillars, and I wish I would have done that differently somehow.  Here at home we put the caterpillars right on the kitchen counter where we could see them during our snack times and other activities. We were constantly drawn to the caterpillars, and it gave us many opportunities to talk about how they were changing and the different behaviors we noticed. The kids (and even the grownups in the house) were fascinated by the whole process, and it’s something we will continue to do as we find our own caterpillars outdoors.

Butterfly Life Cycle

All ten of our caterpillars turned into butterflies, and before we knew it they were ready to fly off on their own. One of my very favorite moments happened while we were trying to release the butterflies. We expected them to fly away eagerly, but these two just seemed to want to hang out with us a bit longer. I snapped this photo of Lovey as she was willing them to fly. Her sweet words melted my heart, “Come on you can do it. Go join your brothers and sisters. You can fly back and say hello to me everyday.”

Raising Butteflies

Our Butterfly Song

We love singing songs. This one was inspired and adapted from one of the butterfly songs shared at Perpetual Preschool. It is sung to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus, and the kids loved doing their own interpretive dances of the butterfly’s life cycle.

Little caterpillar is crawling around, crawling around, crawling around

Little caterpillar is crawling around, in the yard.

Big caterpillar is making a chrysalis, making a chrysalismaking a chrysalis

Big caterpillar is making a chrysalis, in the yard.

Pretty butterfly is flying around, flying aroundflying around

Pretty butterfly is flying around, in the yard.


Some of the Other Butterfly Resources  We Used

We didn’t get to physically observe any of the butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, so the kids really enjoyed watching this excellent video. This site also includes a slideshow and photo gallery. It might be great to print some of the pictures from the photo gallery to let your child practice sequencing after watching the video.

Preschool Powol Packets has a great collection of facts about painted lady butterflies that might be fun to share with kids during your butterfly activities.

This Sesame Street YouTube of Elmo singing Little Butterfly Friend was also a favorite in the house.

I wish I had time to do a full book list of all of the great books we read about butterflies, but for now I will just share a few of our favorites in the widget below.

Get a Full Week of Butterfly Theme Learning and Play

Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.


This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
2) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
3) Caterpillar Uppercase Alphabet Cards
4) Butterfly Lowercase Alphabet Cards
5) Butterfly Life Cycle Cards
6) Butterfly Symmetry Matching Cards
7) Butterfly Life Cycle Word Building Mats
8) Caterpillar Measurement Recording Sheet
9) Caterpillar Patterning Activity
10) Caterpillar Syllable Sort
11) Caterpillar Egg Leaf Counting Mats (Numbers 1-10)

Get Your Lesson Plans

Home Preschool Butterfly  Theme Lesson Plans

Preschool Classroom Butterfly Theme Lesson Plans

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  1. Visiting from the Sunday Showcase. I’d love for you to share your family-friendly crafts and ideas at Monday Kid Corner at See you at the party!


  2. We are enjoying watching our caterpillars grow right now. 🙂 I’m featuring this on The Sunday Showcase tomorrow.

    • Oh, it’s such an awesome experience. I hope you guys are enjoying it as much as we did. Thanks so much for featuring this post.

  3. What a fun butterfly study. The butterfly pictures you captured were AMAZING!

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Hope to see you linked up again today =)

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

  4. Thank you for hosting! I love that your new linky is themed- lots of great ideas in one spot!

    • Thanks for joining in! I’m excited about the themes, too. I’m discovering a lot of new ideas. 🙂

  5. What sweet words your daughter said to the butterflies. 🙂

  6. How sweet that a couple butterflies hung around for a bit and that your daughter was able to talk to them <3
    So many butterfly ideas linked up! Can't wait to look through them all!

    • Isn’t that sweet? It was such a tender moment.

      And you’re right…so many wonderful ideas! I hope you enjoy looking through them.

  7. Shaunna, you did a fantastic job teaching your girls about butterflies! I’m sure they will always remember it. This is a wonderful resource! Definitely a “pin it” post! I’ll be back to link up for several of the future themes- I LOVE the themed linky!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Tanya! I’m so glad you like the themed linky, and I’m looking forward to see what you post in the future!

  8. What a fun activity! I love your daughter’s sweet words to the butterflies! We have a post I can link up, yay! Thanks for sharing with us at Share It Saturday!

    • I was so touched by her sweet words, too. So glad to have you join in the linky. I hope you’ll come back and participate in our future themes.

  9. I love these themed linky parties! Great idea! I’m super excited about this butterfly one because our hometown celebrates the arrival of monarchs each fall. I’m always on the lookout for butterfly activities to do around this time!

    • I’ve read about places that celebrate the arrival of monarchs. Seems like something neat to experience! Glad to have you join in the linky when you can.

  10. Shaunna,

    Thanks so much for inviting me to your linky party! This is so much fun! Fantastic ideas from everyone!

    Learn + Play = PreK

    • I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by and link up, Paula. I hope you’ll come back and share your favorite Earth Day post next week.

  11. Thanks so much for sharing. We’ll be doing an Eric Carle unit over the summer and all these ideas are perfect!

  12. What a wonderful collection! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks so much for joining us! I hope you’ll come back to share more ideas next week for our Earth Day theme.

  13. What a lovely idea. Thank you for hosting.
    Would love it if you could link up to the Spring Carnival.

  14. We found a very old butterfly post! Hooray! 🙂

    • I think that is one of the great aspects of this format…we get to share some of those older but still awesome posts! Thanks for joining in!

  15. This is such a fabulous idea! Unfortunately we haven’t done any butterfly stuff yet 🙂 But I look forward to getting lots of ideas here!

    • Thanks! I’m really excited about the weekly themes. Sad you can’t participate this week, but I hope you’ll be able to join in soon!

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