- Order a “grow a butterfly” kit. These are great fun: When the temperature is right in your area, you will receive a butterfly habitat along with one or more caterpillars. We did this at our house with a monarch butterfly, but there are several types available. Within several days, you’ll see your caterpillar spinning a cocoon, and a couple of weeks after that, a brand new butterfly will emerge, just in time for you to release in your area. The kids found our kit very exciting, and yours probably will, too!
- Learn about symmetry. Butterflies are symmetrical and your kids can explore what that means with this fun activity: Fold a sheet of paper in half, then open it. On one half of the sheet, draw half a butterfly with black crayon. Push down hard so that the crayon is applied thickly. Re-fold the paper, and use the back of a spoon to rub where the crayon marks are. When you open the paper, you’ll have a symmetrical butterfly to paint or color!
- Provide a snack bar for butterflies in your yard. Butterflies need a place to rest and rejuvenate sometimes, so a pan of muddy water will tend to attract them. Place a few slices of orange or apple nearby, and your kids will have a great opportunity to observe them. Take photos or draw pictures of the species you see in a nature journal. Use a field guide (available at your library if you don’t want to buy one) to identify the different species.
- Read some children’s books about butterflies. Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is usually a hit with the preschool crowd. Usborne and Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out both offer books about caterpillars and butterflies that appeal to early readers. Older children might enjoy flipping through a butterfly identification guide to see what types of butterflies (and moths) live in your area.
Every day is a great day for learning, and today is a great day to learn about butterflies! Did you or will you do any special butterfly-related activities? Tell us about them!