Spring is a great time to teach preschoolers about the life cycles of caterpillars. From reading The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to actually watching a caterpillar create a cocoon and turn into a butterfly, there are many fun activities you can do with kids to teach them about caterpillars and butterflies. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Live Butterfly Garden
To teach children about the life cycle of a caterpillar, what is better than watching a real caterpillar turn into a butterfly? InsectLore.com offers live butterfly gardens where you can place actual cocoons. Your child gets to watch as the caterpillar creates a cocoon and eventually turns into a beautiful monarch butterfly. At your local library you can also find many books about monarch butterflies that you can use along with the live lesson, tailoring the information according to the age of your child.
For a little fun in the kitchen, let your child create a “grape kabob” that looks like a caterpillar. Your child will love making this edible creature.
For this activity you will need wooden skewers, approximately twelve green grapes for each kabob, mini chocolate chips, and white frosting.
Help your child place twelve grapes on each kabob. This will be the caterpillar’s body. For the caterpillar’s face place two tiny dots of white frosting on the first grape, and then place a mini chocolate chip in the center of each dap of frosting.
Serve, and enjoy!
This activity combines a craft with a lesson in counting. You will need:
- Five paper plates
- Pipe cleaners
- Craft paints
- Hole punch
- Google eyes
First have your child use the sponge and craft paints to paint each of the paper plates a different color. Set the plates aside to dry.
Use the marker to write the numbers 1 to 5, one number on each plate.
Next use the hole punch to place holes each edge (left and right) of each plate. Have your child put the plates in numerical order, one through five.
Use small pieces of pipe cleaner to attach the plates side by side by placing them through the punched holes (the plates should now form the shape of a caterpillar).
Help your child use the marker to draw a face on the first plate. Glue on the google eyes. You can use the pipe cleaners to create antennae. Punch holes at the top of the first plate to attach the antennae.
Your child will really enjoy painting and putting together this caterpillar. It is also a great opportunity to work on important counting skills.
This is a quick fun craft for preschoolers. All you need are some white paper and craft paints in a variety of colors.
Place some green paint on a paper plate and have your child use his or her thumbprints to create the body of a caterpillar. Use more paints or a marker to draw the caterpillar’s face and legs.
There are many caterpillar crafts and activities you can have fun doing with kids. These are just a few to get you started. With a little creativity and imagination, you can incorporate arts and crafts, science, and reading all at one time, providing a valuable learning experience for your preschool aged child.
Kathy Davis is a professional blogger who provides parents and guardians with information and reviews for after school care programs and day cares. She writes for The Learning Experience, a leading after school program in Brooklyn, NY.