Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hatch Day Butterfly Party

butterfly party, butterfly preschool theme

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".

butterfly party, butterfly lesson plans, butterfly preschool theme

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 theme activities

Party Food
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 
orange slices

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.

butterfly themed activities 


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. 

butterfly party, butterfly math lessons 

Book List- (I'm sure there are plenty of butterfly books available, but we only read the ones we owned.)
Fancy Nancy Bonjour Butterfly by Jane O'Connor
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.

butterfly party, butterfly lesson plans

swallowtail caterpillarsObserving Swallowtail caterpillars

observing Swallowtail caterpillars

We released our butterflies yesterday afternoon and watched them enjoy the crepe myrtle flowers.

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.
butterfly craft for kids

Website Resources
Deborah at Living Montessori Now has rounded up butterfly lesson plans from around the web and made a great post and Pinterest board.

Photobucket Pin It

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


Anonymous said...

What fun!! Looks like everyone had fun and lots of learning took place at the same time!

Phyllis said...

It is a great idea to have a party on your caterpillar's hatch day!

MaryAnne said...

What a fun party! I love the Smarties butterflies!

Unknown said...

I LOVE that you made an "everyday" kind of event into a celebration of life!

Caz said...

This is fantastic! What a wonderful idea to have a hatching day party! We just found a caterpillar on our coriander plant and are waiting for him to appear from his cocoon, we are pretty sure he will be a moth though.

Earning-My-Cape said...

How fun!!!! I love all of your creative butterfly crafts & foods!
Thanks for sharing with my Super Link Party! :-)

Beth ( said...

I LOVE this!! What a fun way to expand on your hatching experiment!!! And that is the prettiest caterpillar ever! I will be featuring this at TGIF on Friday =-) Thanks for linking up - I always REALLY enjoy your posts!

Deb Chitwood said...

This is AWESOME, Kelly! I always loved celebrations at the end of a unit study, and your butterfly hatch day party is perfect! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday, and thanks so much for linking to my caterpillar-butterfly roundup post. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page and added your link to my Montessori-Inspired Caterpillar-Butterfly Unit:

Stephanie said...

I found you from Living Montessori Now! What an AMAZING idea! I love to do parties for my kids, but this one is rockin! I want to find us a crysalis now so we can have one too! We had a monarch a couple of years ago, and I wish I would have thought about something like this then! Thanks so much for sharing!

PS I am hosting a linky Party each week called Taking Time Tuesday! We are linking up all the fun things we take the time to do with our kids during the week! I hope you pop by!

Kim Vij said...

What a fun way to celebrate the arrival of your butterflies! We had lots of fun observing our caterpillars and butterflies this summer too. Now I'll be better prepared for the next time with a Hatch Day Party!

Unknown said...

This is a wonderful post full of such wonderful activities! I will be sharing it on my Kid's Co-op Roundup tomorrow at


Carrie said...

Oh, how fun!! We just postponed our butterfly party but will have to try some of these ideas! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

Unknown said...

Awww, i've wanted to do this for so long now! Love all of your cute activities to celebrate the day! Thanks for linking with Tip Toe

Unknown said...

What a fun party! Thanks for linking up to the outdoor play party!