Butterflies....updates, activites, and links! ♥

Sunday, April 25, 2010

"Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar”
-Bradley Millar

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!
We have been looking at the book The Butterfly Alphabet, by Kjell B. Sandved.  Kjell worked for more than 25 years, with visits to more than 30 countries, to discover and photograph all the letters of the alphabet in butterfly wings.  The name of the butterfly is given, along with a short poem accompanying each photo.  Jojo posted a while back about cards that go with this book, and I've been looking for them ever since.  If you happen to come across them, please let me know!!!

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).

For $1.99 you can have a PDF instant download of these Butterfly Life Cycle Sequence Cards or the Butterfly Nomenclature Book for $2.79  from Montessori Print Shop.

Or, try these!  I discovered these free downloadable life cycle cards, from Homemade Montessori!  You'll find lots of other great resources there as well.

Choose from pre-selected words to easily create your own butterfly haiku poetry here.  You can select from beginning, intermediate, or advanced vocabulary for more challenges.  Copy or print your final poems, and add illustrations.

Get your body involved by integrating yoga poses into your unit.  The butterfly is one of the simplest poses, one that even your young children can master. 
"Sit on your mat with the bottoms of your feet pressed together and knees out to the side. Imagine that your legs are colorful wings. Slowly flap your legs like the gentle movement of a butterfly."
Lazy Lizards Yoga gives you lots of fun animal poses for children.  Print them off, cut them up and laminate them into cards, and keep them on a bookshelf for the children to grab and try themselves.  Or, make it a part of your daily routine to help you and your child stretch and destress.
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!

Indie Fixx has a great tutorial on how to make this beautiful butterfly mobile to add some spring into your home, using things you already have around your house and yard.  I also am in love with this bird mobile!!!
I'd love to know your great ideas!!!


The Sunshine Crew said...

Awesome butterfly post!

Thanks for sharing!
We will have to try some of these! We spotted our first Monarch tody...they were supposed to be in our area a few weeks ago, but today was the first time we saw them.
I did a post about butterflies a while ago, in case you want to check it out...


The Sunshine Crew said...

You are the winner of the giveaway on my blog. I have emailed you but wanted to leave it as a comment, in case the email ends up in your junk mail. Just please contact me with your mailing address, etc.
You won the Set 2 Montessori Little books.

SimplyMontessori said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so excited!


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