Every year as soon as the weather starts getting warmer and the blossoms start appearing on the trees my kids naturally become insect / minibeast obsessed. This year we have some caterpillars that we are keeping with the aim of watching them go through metamorphosis and become butterflies. So naturally minibeast life cycles have become a bit of a topic again.
Life Cycle Paper Plate
Probably the easiest idea! We printed out the colourful poster, cut out each stage, glued them onto a paper plate and labelled the pictures for a very easy-to-make life cycle paper plate. I like using paper plates for life cycles because they are round which enforces the fact that this is a continuous cycle.
Butterfly life cycle on a paper plate
This was really quick and easy to put together but if you are like me and have little people around who like to be involved in the creating process there is not that that much that they can do with this one.
So we also printed out the Life cycle colouring page and my two coloured in and coloured in.
Butterfly life cycle colouring page
Life Cycle Wreath
My daughter liked the idea of the paper plate but she wanted to be able to hang hers up. So we came up with the idea of a wreath life cycle, again staying with our paper plates as a base but this time cutting out the centre part. My youngest still struggles with cutting the centre of the paper plate out so with younger kids you may need to do this stage.
Butterfly life cycle wreath
It's the same idea as before, sticking the different stages in order. This time we added a ribbon around the top so she could hang it up.
The butterfly life cycle wreath on display
And I must admit I like her idea!
Butterfly Flap Book
My kids love the idea anything with flaps. So we thought about how we could turn the stages of the butterfly life cycle into a flap book of some sort. The problem is the different stages are very different shapes so you cannot really glue them back to back and just flip between them - you need some sort of backing.
We went with the biggest shape – the butterfly shape. We only wanted a very basic butterfly shape to use (as it is the backdrop) so we chose the Butterfly Playdough Mat.
Cutting out the butterfly playdough mat
I printed 2 copies on coloured thick paper and 2 copies on white paper.
- The first coloured paper butterfly is going to be the base on which you stick everything else.
- The white paper butterflies need to be cut out and then folded in half. You need three half white paper butterflies - these are going to be your inside pages.
- The second coloured butterfly – you only need the body and one set of wings – will be stuck on top of everything else.
Writing key words on the cover of our butterfly booklet
Start with the base and glue the first half white butterfly down but ONLY glue the body section – the wings need to be free as they are going to be the pages. Then glue the next 2 white half butterflies (again only glue the body) and finally you need to add the half coloured butterfly on top. You will end up with a mini butterfly book.
The butterfly life cycle booklet assembled
Then as you open the cover on your first white paper wings you will stick the egg. Then turn the page and on the second set of wings you stick the caterpillar.
Turn the page to find the caterpillar
On the third set of white paper wings you glue the chrysalis and on the last set of wings – the coloured base – you stick your final butterfly.
And on the final page - the butterfly!
Everyone loved the end result.
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 6 and 9. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on their different learning activities including lots of hands-on maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.
You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.