The swallowtail caterpillars (Eastern Black Swallowtails to be exact) we found on our parsley plants have started to emerge from their chrysalises. The first one made its appearance yesterday and the second one followed that evening. It was really amazing and the kids were so excited to see this transformation. I thought a small hatch day butterfly party was in order. Juiciness told me that this was the "party house".
I knew this day was coming, so I planned a few things in my mind and began gathering supplies from my stash. I set the table up with mini stations for the kids to rotate through. We did some math, science, reading (fiction and nonfiction), and arts and crafts.
Butterfly shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (Target has butterfly sandwich cutters in their dollar bins right now, so I picked one up to use on our sandwiches.)
Butterfly shaped crackers
Flower shaped cheese
Eric Carle's website has some coloring pages from the Very Hungry Caterpillar. I printed them out on cardstock. We used them as placemats for the day.
Calendar work- I asked Little J to look at the calendar and tell me what day and date the caterpillar made its chrysalis and also the day and date it emerged as a butterfly. Then I asked him to tell me how many days this was. (It was 14 days by the way.)
Symmetry, design your own butterfly- I used this template and cut out a butterfly in black construction paper. Then, I set out small pom poms and sequins to decorate the paper. This wasn't meant to be an art project, so I didn't set out glue. I wanted the younger two to see that our butterfly was symmetrical and design their own butterfly in a symmetrical pattern. I wanted them to be able to practice this over and over if they wanted.
Side story, my Sassyfras has her own opinions (truly wonderful, but trying at times) so while she seemed to understand symmetry, she was going to design her butterfly any darn way she wanted. When I tried to tell her it was pretty, but not symmetrical, I got the crossed arms, granny glare, humph.
Book List- (I'm sure there are plenty of butterfly books available, but we only read the ones we owned.)
From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
In addition to observing our new butterfly and discussing how it was once a caterpillar we did a few other science activities. Little J received some butterfly specimens as a gift last year and I set those out with a magnifying glass. We also took a butterfly walk with our field guide and net. We gently caught a few butterflies long enough to look at them and let them go again.
We did a couple of art projects. One was the old reliable watercolors painted on a coffee filter. Once they dried we gathered them with a chenille stem and used Smarties as the butterfly body.
We also painted small wooden butterfly cutouts and glued magnets on the back of them.
Deborah at Living Montessori Now has rounded up butterfly lesson plans from around the web and made a great post and Pinterest board.
Linking to: Weekly Kids Co-op, TGIF!, It's Playtime! Sharing Saturday, Thursday's Temptations, For the Kids Friday, Super Link Party, Outdoor Play Party, Montessori Monday, Tip Toe Thru Tuesday, Show me what ya got, Taking Time Tuesday