To go along with this, I came up with and found a few different activities for the boys to do each day! Here is what we did throughout the week:
Insect Lore Butterfly Garden Kit
This is an ongoing activity for the boys to make observations each day! This kit comes with everything you need to watch caterpillars as they go through each stage and turn into butterflies! It is super easy to do and so much fun to watch! I let the boys look at the caterpillars each day and ask them questions about what they look like and what they see them doing. Once the caterpillars created their cocoons, we placed the lid into the netting that comes with the kit. After about a week, we should see our new butterflies! This is an easy science activity to do with any age, so try it out if you haven’t already! We ordered ours from Amazon!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
For some reason, I could not find our copy of this book, so I found another option—YouTube! There was a short animated video that I had the boys watch while I made their lunch on Monday and kept them entertained for several minutes. I also asked Leo some follow up questions such as “What happened to the hungry caterpillar at the end?” and “what were some of the things that the caterpillar ate?” for him to practice some recall.
Using some construction paper, glue and staples, we put together some caterpillar hats for the boys to wear! I cut out all of the pieces beforehand and had the boys help me glue everything together. Once they were dry, I measured the construction paper to fit their heads and stapled a piece to create a hat. They wore them here and there throughout the week and they looked so cute!
Pom-Pom Caterpillars on Leaf
This was a super quick activity, but we didn’t have a lot of time to kill before lunch, so I just quickly drew and cut out leaves from green construction paper and glued down the red face (from the Very Hungry Caterpillar illustration). I then had the boys count out three green pom-poms each and glue them onto the leaves. We talked about counting and colors for this quick activity and they turned out to be really cute little decorations for our theme!
I used this activity as a “breakfast invitation” (activity to complete while breakfast is made), but it can be done at any time of the day of course! I was inspired by a fellow blogger (@dayswithgrey on Instagram and https://www.dayswithgrey.com/) who came up with these Breakfast Invitations, or quick little breakfast-time activities. Mornings can be stressful and kids can be in any type of mood when they wake up or while they patiently or impatiently wait for you to get their breakfast ready! This has definitely been a helpful tool on those mornings that I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed before the boys wake up! (She has so many cute ideas so make sure to check out her site!)
For this activity, I made two different variations: a counting 1-5 for Xander and 1- 8 for Leo (I would’ve done 10 but it did not fit on one side, so went with 8!) I gave each of the boys a bowl with pom-poms and their pieces of paper with numbers and caterpillars with corresponding numbers of circles as the bodies. The boys had to count and fill in the circles with a pom-pom. I made sure to put the exact amount of pom-poms in Xander’s bowl so that he had to use the correct amount for each of his five caterpillars!
This kept them occupied and entertained for quite a bit, and they continued to play with the supplies even after the activity was completed!
Another book to go along with our theme is a rhyming book about all different types of caterpillars! It practices counting, rhyming, briefly describes the butterfly lifecycle, and even gives different species of caterpillars, plants, etc throughout the story! This is a great book to use that goes along with the theme, but also practices with
Egg Carton Caterpillars
This was a fun and easy activity! I cut an empty egg carton into sections of three, and poked a hole in the top of each. I let the boys paint their caterpillars and once they had dried, I put some pipe cleaner antennae in the top hole and drew a little face on the front with a permanent marker!
If there is one craft item that the boys love, it is glue! I let them glue some pom poms onto clothespins. While those dried, we colored onto coffee filters with markers and painted some water onto them. This gave a watercolor effect and once everything dried, we put the coffee filters into the clothespins and turned our caterpillars into butterflies! Gluing and coloring might be a hassle at times, but they love it so let them get a little messy!
Life Cycle Sequence
I really wanted to incorporate some science and story sequencing into this week, so I drew some quick little pictures of the four stages of the butterfly life cycle (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly) and cut them out. I also drew a circle and drew lines to separate it into 4 sections. I asked Leo which he thought came first. It took us several tries, but we eventually put the life cycle in the correct order, and then glued the pictures down. I also had Xander sitting by us and listening, but helped him to place his pictures in the correct order. We can now use these as a reference for the remainder of our activities and observations of the caterpillars.