Learning about the life cycle of butterflies fascinated our 3 year olds and gave us many opportunities to use our minds! Our caterpillars arrived in a small container and we used our math skills to count how many there were.
Every day we watched the caterpillars eat and get bigger and longer in length. During story time each day, we read about all the different kinds of butterflies. And after a week, our caterpillars climbed to the top of the container and attached themselves to the top of the cup. They formed themselves into a “J” shape, which the children noticed right away! They then shed their exoskeletons (which is one of the words we learned) and started to harden into chrysalises (another new word).
We had to wait about 3 days for the chrysalises to harden and then we moved them into our butterfly habitat. We watched them for another week without a lot of activity…..and then out popped butterflies! This prompted a lot of questions such as…. “What do they eat?” and “Why are the wings of the butterflies so crinkly and wet?“ There was plenty more to know and explore about these lovely creatures!
We made some sweetened sugar water and put an orange slice in the habitat. The butterflies flew back and forth nourishing themselves on the sweets. After a week, we took them outside so they could be free! Some of our butterflies decided to land on us as we were letting them go. Maybe they knew we didn’t want to see them leave, but we really were happy to see them fly freely in the sky!