As I touched on in my previous kids post, we watched caterpillars through their stages of life and of course, the final stage was butterflies! We had all 4 of our caterpillars that build their cocoons hatch into butterflies successfully! They were super active, so we didn’t keep them long, just a couple of days. We took the net outside, opened it and watched as our little friends flew off. The boys were a little sad, but we explained that they belonged outside and we might see them flying around this summer.
I found a playdoh cutter shaped like a butterfly, so I used this to trace onto different colored construction paper and cut out small paper butterflies. I then put the letters of the boys names onto the butterflies and had them practice letter recognition and helped them spell their names. If you’re wondering why Leo’s name is all uppercase and Xander is not, I decided to have Leo work on spelling his full name which he doesn’t see often. I figured using all uppercase might help him identify the letters. Both boys needed some help, but any exposure to identifying letters and names is helpful!
Using the same paper butterflies, we practiced colors, too! For Leo, I wrote the name of the color in the appropriate colored marker. This will also help him with the beginning stages of word recognition. For Xander, I colored dots to match the colored butterfly pieces to only focus on color identification.
Painting with Cotton Swabs
To change up our painting tools, i had the boys use cotton swabs to paint designs onto paper butterflies that I drew and cut out on white paper. This was a pretty quick activity, but anytime that they get to paint, they love it! Using the different painting tool was also something that they enjoyed.
After butterflies, we moved onto our flower unit. We had planned on planting our garden and flowers for Mother’s Day, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we will probably revisit this topic when planting happens!
Breakfast Invitation Counting
I did a similar breakfast time activity with caterpillars, but this time I drew different amounts of flowers on strips of paper. The boys had to practice recognizing the number on the paper and count out that many pom-poms to put on top of each flower. I gave Xander lower numbers to differentiate the activity.
Capillary Action Flowers
Of course we had to throw some science in here! I used to do this activity with my freshmen biology classes when we studied properties of water, but it also fits in with flowers! We talked about capillary action which is when water moves up against gravity through a tiny tube. This is how the water moves up the stem of a flower. We were able to see the movement of the water by putting food coloring into cups of water and placing a white carnation in each one. Within just a few hours, we had multicolored flowers!
I created a quick flower themed snack by cutting grapes in half (I always serve them like this anyways out of habit) and arranging them into flower shapes. Then for the stems and leaves we used snap pea crisps. Sometimes presenting foods in different ways can get the kids more excited about them, especially healthier items!
Roots: straw painting
On a piece of paper, we poured a bit of brown paint and let the boys blow through straws to move the paint around. This created some root-like effects and also was good oral-motor exercise from blowing through a straw!
I simply cut out strips of green construction paper for stems and drew a leaf for each flower. I had the boys glue these onto the paper where they had previously painted the roots.
Flower: dot dot paint
On a separate piece of white paper, I let the boys create the flower portion using their dot paint markers. I cut a circular shape out of their masterpieces to make them look more like flowers. We then glued these at the top of the stems.
All of these activities were very quick and simple to put together and many can be adapted to different themes! I hope you give some a try with your kiddos and please share some of your quick but fun activities that you’ve tried! Enjoy!