Friday, May 30, 2008

Fun-Filled Friday: Caterpillars and Butterflies

In the spring, it's a good time to introduce the life cycle of a butterfly to children. The good news is, there are many activities to choose from. Here are some activities that I have used or recently discovered.

I don't think a lesson about caterpillars and butterflies would be appropriate without reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar. What a fun book to read and the children enjoy watching the caterpillar eat his way through the book.

I found these sequencing cards at DLTK. These go along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. DLTK allows you to print these out in black and white or color. I chose to print these in black and white so that the children could color them. This is a great counting activity too.

This butterfly is a simple craft for young children. You just take paper scraps or foam cut outs and put them inside a plastic sandwich baggie. Bunch up the baggie in the middle and wrap a pipe cleaner around it and form the antennae with the pipe cleaner. Slide a pony bead over the antennae to keep it all held together. This idea is from Mailbox Magazine.

This is a cute keepsake. It's a bit messy though when you try to do this with 13 kids! lol To make this butterfly, you simply apply paint to the child's feet and then stamp them onto cardstock or heavy paper. Then use brown construction paper to cut out the butterfly's abdomen and glue it to the wings.

Warning: It's best not to have the kid's watch as your press their foot down on paper. If they're looking at the paper, they'll almost always wiggle their foot around. I found it easier if I had them look at an object while I pushed down on their foot.

I was fortunate enough to find this kit at Dollar Tree many years ago. These figurines show the different phases of the life cycle. I'm sure you could pick up one of these kits at your local teacher store or online.

More ideas:

Foam caterpillar: Sorry, I don't have a picture of this one. I remember making this several years ago though. I just took different colors of craft foam and cut out circles that were about the size of a quarter. We glued these together to make a caterpillar and then added wiggle eyes.

Collage: Use paper scraps, yarn, fabric, tissue paper, clips from magazines, etc to create a butterfly collage.

Life cycle booklet: Cut a piece of paper into 4 equal pieces. On the first page draw a leaf and then glue a small white circle onto the leaf. Use a hole puncher to punch out the circle - you can use white paper or craft foam for the circles. This is for the egg. On the next page, draw a leaf and then glue on a spiral shaped noodle for the caterpillar. On the third page, draw a tree limb and then glue on a shell shaped noodle for the chrysalis. On the last page, glue on a butterfly shaped noodle and also draw the body of the butterfly. Of course, you can add flowers, trees, and other embellishments to your book.

Do you have any caterpillar or butterfly ideas to share? Have fun!


Michelle said...

I made the butterfly footprints with my class this week! We are doing a whole bug themed unit and this week was butterflies and lady bugs!

Maui said...

Hi there!:-)
Butterflies and caterpillars are cute ideas. For Spring coloring, you can take pictures here, Spring coloring pages.