The other day we pulled out our little collection of insect toys and made a Play Doh and Duplo garden for them.
We talked about how the bees and butterflies would be looking for flowers, we did some little bee dances as we pretended the bees were flying back to their hive. And we talked about how the caterpillars were baby butterflies who would grow up to have wings and fly. We had started talking about caterpillars and butterflies a few days earlier – the first time we found a caterpillar in our yard.
Calvin didn’t believe me when I first told him that caterpillars are baby butterflies. So we talked about it, and re-read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and watched some videos on YouTube, and soon Calvin was really fascinated by this whole caterpillar >> butterfly metamorphosis business. And I got the idea to do a little process art/craft project that would allow us to play act the different stages of the butterfly life cycle!
We started by making caterpillars with pom poms and craft sticks. We glued the pom poms on, and added some pipe cleaner antennae.
While they sat drying, Calvin pretended to feed them leaves. And once they were totally dry – and had eaten enough leaves – we put them into paper chrysalises and hung them in the window.
While we waited for our pom pom caterpillars to do their magic metamorphosis in their chrysalises, we worked on making them some beautiful butterfly wings.
And we had a little fun making caterpillars with those dot pens. They’re perfect for painting caterpillars!
The next day, we helped our caterpillars emerge from each chrysalis – just kidding, the washi tape didn’t hold so well and the chrysalises were basically falling apart! But no matter, our butterflies were ready for their wings!
You can guess which one is Calvin’s… I’ll give you a hint: it’s his favorite color!