The always classic, Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I know most children have read this book several times, but I swear they always seem surprised when they see the giant butterfly at the end (Spoiler, sorry. Also, for an even more exciting reading, use the pop-up version of this book).
There are some great puppets out there, but we had one in particular that was a hit. It first looks like a caterpillar with a zipper around its body and when you unzip it and fold it inside out, it turns into a butterfly. This is a GREAT one to use while reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” I set it out as a caterpillar while I read the story. When finished, I unzipped and let the children enjoy seeing the magical transformation. At this point, we talked about metamorphosis.
Other great books about butterflies:
A creepy crawly caterpillar that I see
Makes a chrysalis in a big oak tree.
(make body into a ball)
He stays there and I know why
(slowly stand up)
Because soon he will be a butterfly
I really wanted to bring in this great toy I had at home (but alas, it slipped my mind). It is a robotic toy butterfly that lives in a jar. When you tap it, it springs to life and moves around the jar in an astoundingly real way. It’s fascinating and mesmerizing. This would be a great tool to pass around the room, let the children tap it and discuss butterfly features and movements. Here’s a video of the toy, and you can find more information by clicking here.
Art Project: We made butterflies using coffee filters, watercolor paint and a pipe cleaner. First the children flattened out their coffee filters and laid them down flat on a paper plate. With watercolor paint, they splashed color onto the filter and let it dry.
Folding it up like a fan and pinching it in the middle, a pipe cleaner was bent in half and places around the middle of the coffee filter. By twisting the middle and curling the ends, the pipe cleaner became the body and antennas. Tie it to some string or fishing line and watch it fly!