Children just love butterflies. Butterflies are colorful and attractive and tend to live around a child’s eye level. No doubt kids are also attracted to the flying and soaring. Butterflies are always are on the move, just like young children. We can take advantage of young children’s interest in butterflies to create learning opportunities that revolve around a butterfly theme. Butterflies are a favorite topic for spring lesson plans.
Caterpillars may have 16 legs. Can you count to 16?
Butterflies stay in a chrysalis for about 10 days. Can you count off 10 days on the calendar?
Butterflies drink nectar from a proboscis, much like we drink through straws.
(Have fun this week at lunch and snack time calling your straw a proboscis.)
Review the Five Senses:
Studying butterflies is a great time to review the five senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting.
Butterflies like to taste the sweet nectar from flowers. Butterflies use their antennae, or long feelers, to both feel and smell.
Caterpillars start out green and then outgrow and shed their skin and become orange and black. Of course, butterflies have a variety of colors, but yellow and orange and most common.
Here are three of my favorite books on butterflies to share with young audiences.
My, Oh My- a Butterfly! All About Butterflies by Tish Rabe
This is a The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library Book. The Cat in the Hat takes kids on a learning tour to reinforce the concepts related to butterflies. This kid-friendly book delights with rhythm and rhyme.
The Butterfly Alphabet by Kjell B. Sandved
This Scholastic book has photographs of the alphabet all found on butterfly wings.
Hurry and the Monarch by Antoine O’Flatharta
This is an Alfred A. Knopt Book for Young Readers that teaches about butterfly migration. A monarch butterfly takes a rest on the back of a tortoise named Hurry.
Center Time Butterfly Activities
Take dress-up outside this month. Take a collection of strap-on butterfly wings or scrap fabric panels outside for butterfly dress up to encourage dramatic play and gross motor movement.
Add to the learning by putting a sign on one end of the playground that says North and another on the other end that says South. Let the butterflies migrate as you tell them it’s getting colder or warmer.
Add some flower, butterfly and circle (for the spots) cookie cutters into the Play Dough center. Also, if you have any butterfly paint or ink stamps, they will make butterfly prints in the play dough as well. Reinforce colors and counting during these butterfly activities.
Need some Free Butterfly Printables and Coloring Pages?
Free butterfly printables from coloringcastle.com
Free butterfly printables from coloring.ws
Butterfly Garden Field Trips:
Considering a butterfly garden field trip for your family or your classroom? The Entomological Society of America website has a list of hundreds of butterfly gardens in the United and States and Canada. If your locale isn’t on the list, check with your local science centers or hands-on museums.