The Lesson Planning Mommy – Caterpillars and Butterflies… Oh My!

This week is filled with silly songs, fun activities, creative snacks, and a little Mom-Me time!  So grab your little buggy, and lets’ get movin’! Monday: What We’re Reading: From Caterpillar to Butterfly Deborah Heiligman (Author) Bari Weissman (Illustrator) Activity: Butterfly Life Cycle What is a better way to completely explain the life cycle of a butterfly, than to make one?  It’s so easy and effective to create the life cycle with only a few household materials. What You Need:
  • Paper plate
  • Markers
  • Bow tie pasta
  • 1 shell pasta
  • 3 pretzel sticks
  • 1 rotini pasta
  • Liquid glue
  • 1 dried bean
  1. With a marker, make four sections on the paper plate – one for each cycle of life
  2. Label “Egg,” “Caterpillar,” “Chrysalis,” and “Butterfly” at the top of each section
  3. Invite your kiddos to create an egg out of the dried bean – Have them get creative by adding a pretzel stick as a branch, while drawing leaves for the little egg to lay on
  4. Make a caterpillar out of the rotini pasta and pretzel stick.  As a little added detail, have your child color the pasta with a marker and add a leaf for the caterpillar to eat!
  5. Glue a pretzel stick to the paper plate and make the shell pasta hang from it to represent the chrysalis
  6. Color the bow tie pasta and add a special little detail for the Butterfly
  Tuesday: What We’re Reading: Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer Susan Hood (Author) Claudine Gvry (Illustrator)   “The Butterfly” Song (sung to the tune of Up on the Housetop) First comes the butterfly who lays an egg. (Clasp thumbs and wiggle fingers.) Out comes a caterpillar with many legs. (Wiggle index finger.) Oh, see the caterpillar spin and spin, (Roll hands.) A little chrysalis to sleep in. (Insert right index finger in left fist.) Oh, oh, oh, look and see. (Hands over eyes.) Oh, oh, oh, look and see. Out of the chrysalis, my, oh, my, Out comes a beautiful butterfly. (Clasp thumbs and make butterfly.)   Activity: Caterpillars! This activity is great for kids of all ages.  Even the little ones love it! What You Need:
  • Egg Carton
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Googly Eyes
  • Liquid Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  1. Cut down the center of an egg carton and trim around the edges to create the perfect little caterpillar body
  2. Invite your little one to color the body of the caterpillar
  3. Add some googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennas
  Wednesday: What We’re Reading: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle (Author)   This story is a personal favorite of my children!  They love to hear about the journey the little Caterpillar takes as well as to stick their little fingers in the holes of the illustrated food while I read it!  The repetition in this book is wonderful, because it helps build early language skills for beginning readers.   Activity: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Let’s get creative and make our very own “Very Hungry Caterpillar”! What You Need:
  • Small balloon
  • Green, red, yellow, and black washable paint
  1. Dab the small balloon into paint and place it onto your paper
  2. Add some finishing touches like eyes, nose and antennae
  Snack: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Ate Through… I found this ADORABLE snack idea at The Masked Mommy! How fun! “I tried to base it on the book as close as possible, but it came down to going with the flow of what was in my fridge. However, we were able to start with apples and end on a leaf- just like in the book! At our house, the very hungry caterpillar ate some apples, blackberries, strawberries, cheese, cake, hot dogs, pie, cantaloupe, celery, and pickles… but he was still hungry.  So he ate his way through a lettuce leaf as well It went a little differently in the book, but I don’t think my 3 year old noticed! I did all my hole-pokin’ with a straw.  It worked really well!” Thank you so much The Masked Mommy for this GREAT idea!!!   Thursday: What We’re Reading: Butterfly Butterfly: A Book of Colors Petr Horacek (Author, Illustrator)     Activity: Paper Towel Butterflies What You Need:
  • Plain white paper towels
  • Liquid food coloring
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Little bowels
  • Water
  1. Mix food coloring with water in separate bowls
  2. Fold paper towel in half, four times – in sixteenths
  3. Dip each corner of the folded paper towel into desired colored water (Don’t dip the paper towel in too deep or for too long. Leaving part of the paper towel white in some spots also helps with the coloring and outcome. Let the kids experiment.)
  4. Let the excess water drip back into the bowls after dipping each color, then open up the paper towel and lay flat to dry
  5. Once each paper towel is dry, gather along the center of each paper towel, wrap a pipe cleaner around the center, twist it off, even out the wings, flatten the body, and curl the antennas
  Friday: Activity: Mom-Me Time at the Dow Gardens Butterfly House Take a Mom-Me trip to Dow Gardens to visit the butterfly house!  What a great place to finish the week after learning about the butterfly life cycle.  After you’ve visited the Butterfly House, take a nature walk with your favorite little explorers.  You might even be able to find some caterpillars.   Butterflies in Bloom -Around the World! March 2nd – April 22nd, 2012 Open Everyday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.   Snack: Cute Butterfly Snack Packs What You Need:
  • Ziploc baggies
  • 2 googly eyes
  • 1 clothespin
  • 1 pipe cleaner
  • Markers or paint pens 
  1. Color the clothespin with either markers or paint pens
  2. Embellish with 2 googly eyes and a pipe cleaner antenna
  3. Add your little explorer’s favorite snacks
  4. Gather together in the middle and clip with the clothespin! It’s that easy and your kiddos will LOVE it!