Google+ Mommy Moments with Abby: Blooming Butterflies!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blooming Butterflies!

Caterpillar stages

Bugs, bugs, bugs! Bugs are always interesting to little ones. They follow them, try to catch them, fear them, and just can’t get enough of them. For many areas butterflies have been all a flutter and museums and gardens have had their butterfly exhibits going. I thought it was a great time to talk about caterpillars and butterflies with the kids. Books, toys, and outside exploration are great ways to teach and discover caterpillars for kids. To get kids even more interested and add to their memory the facts about caterpillars have them create their own learning tool to hang in their room or another part of the house.

For this craft you need:

One large Poster board or white piece of paper

5 Coffee filters


Small containers



A small stick

2 Pipe cleaners

Tape or glue

A small seed or other small round object

First, fold the coffee filters into triangles or squares. Then, have the kids color 5 coffee filters by watering down some paint and dipping the edges of the filter in the different colors remembering to unfold and dip unpainted edges as you go. Set filters aside to dry. While painting the filters talk about how the color spreads when you dip the edges, ask questions about why they are choosing the colors they are, and ask what colors of butterflies they have seen!

Go outside and have the kids find leaves, a small stick, and the small round object. Enjoy exploring your yard and use any opportunity to explore nature knowledge as you get the items needed. Write down any observations and cool exclamations in your Kids Journal. You can pretend to be on a hunt for the objects you’re looking for or once the objects are found if there are clouds around talk about the bugs you see in the clouds! Pretend they are raining down and get inside quick once you’re done!

Now on the white paper divide it into four sections. Either write yourself or have the child write Stage One in the first section. Have the child tape or glue a few leaves and the small round object inside the first stage. See if the child feels the egg needs a few more leaves for when it wakes up hungry. Talk about how in this stage the caterpillar is an egg, have the child or write yourself egg.
In the next section on your paper have the child write or write yourself Stage Two. Take one of the dried coffee filters and roll it into a straight line. Next, accordion fold the rolled coffee filter and tape a leaf on each end and you have a caterpillar. Now, tape or glue the leaves and folded coffee filter on to the next section of the white paper. Have the child write or write yourself Larva as the caterpillar is in the Larva stage. If you want you can talk to the child about how during this stage the caterpillars eat and eat and eat and have them tape more leaves into the second section of the paper.

In the next section of your white paper have the child write or write yourself Stage Three. Taking two dried coffee filters roll one and fold it in half. Fold the other filter around the outside of the rolled one so that you end up with a rectangle taping it so it stays closed. Attach with glue or tape to the stick and you have your cocoon ready to hang. Glue or tape the cocoon to the third section. Have the child write or write yourself Pupa. Talk about how the caterpillar is resting and changing during this stage. Maybe explore the changes your little one has gone through since they were a baby and how they grow like the caterpillar!

During the last stage the cocoon will become a butterfly! Have the child write or write yourself Stage Four in the final section on the white paper. Now, take the last two coffee filters and using the pipe cleaners divide the coffee filters down the middle twisting the two ends of the pipe cleaners together to create two butterflies. Roll down slightly the ends of the pipe cleaners to make the antennae less sharp. Glue or tape your butterflies to stage four! Have the child write or write yourself Butterfly!

Review the stages throughout the day, week, and month having the child point to and say what happens in each stage! Remember to always write down the gems they offer in your Kids Journal because as they get older both you and them will enjoy seeing how far they have come and laughing at the conclusions or observations they have made. Feel free to make as many butterflies as you like, hang them in trees or around the house or place one against a black piece of paper inside a frame. Kids are always willing and wanting to learn and as parents we are their best source of information! In closing, remember the times your child was a little egg and how much they have changed and developed into their own little butterflies; never be afraid to help them fly higher than you’ve flown, but always be ready to be their flower to come back to after they have reached a new height.


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