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…
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.
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.”
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 chrysalis, making a chrysalis
Big caterpillar is making a chrysalis, in the yard.
Pretty butterfly is flying around, flying around, flying 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.
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)