"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar”
Remember the Butterfly Kit we received from the Easter Bunny? Well, the caterpillars arrived, ate, and have now formed their chrysalides. I must say I've learned a few things already as well. First, the caterpillar stage is not all that cute. These particular caterpillars will transform into Painted Lady butterflies, but the caterpillars themselves are just brown. They aren't very active, mostly clinging to the side of their container and pooping. So, I didn't post any pictures of that (no need to thank me). Second, I learned that silk is very strong! When they created their chrysalides, I had to gently take the lid of their container off, remove the paper disc that they were hanging from, detatch the silk strands, and pin the disk into the mesh house that will be the birthplace of the butterflies. The silk strands look like cobwebs, so I thought they would pull apart like cobwebs. Instead, they are much tougher, and it is a delicate process to detangle them from the lid without knocking off any of the chrysalides. Luckily, I managed. We have 5 chrysalides (the photo is a little blurred because I had to take it through the mesh sides of the kit), and hopefully we will have 5 Painted Ladies. I can't wait! Oh, and the kids are pretty excited too. :)
There are SO many things you can use to study butterflies. I had to stop myself from looking, or this posting would go on for pages. But, here are some activites, products, and links to get you started!
This Caterpillar to Butterfly 5 Layer Puzzle shows a stage in the life cycle of a butterfly with each layer.
Let your child experience how to drink like a butterfly with this activity from Wondertime Magazine.
Children become butterflies themselves by creating a paper flower that has a cup in its center for nectar (a.k.a. apple juice), and then sipping the nectar through a straw."
We have this 3D Life Cycle manipulative set from Oriental trading. It is a great deal, as you receive both the tadpole-to-frog and the caterpillar-to-butterfly models for only $5.99. I used these to introduce the process to the kids before we even received the caterpillars so they knew what to expect. These are also great to go along with 3 part nomenclature life cycle cards (see some options below).
I couldn't resist adding this Butterfly Life Cycle Craft Kit. Just $7.99 and it makes 12, so invite some other children over and have a butterfly party!