Learning About Butterflies Preschool Activities

eric carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar preschool counting and sorting activity
Photo Source: mamabeefromthehive.blogspot.com

Celebrate the spring season with a lesson on butterflies! Beth, preschool teacher and creator of the blog, From The Hive, designed some fun activities that should give you a head start in your planning! Here are a few of our favorite exercises.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Beth suggests reading Eric Carle's popular children's tale, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to introduce your students to the life cycle of a butterfly. She found {among her daughter's books} a fun edition with large colorful pages and a plush caterpillar toy that can actually traverse the holes in the pages. While your preschoolers have probably heard the story numerous times, if you can get your hands on this edition, your kiddos will have a blast volunteering to move the hungry little caterpillar through the pages.

Carle-Inspired Sorting & Counting

Taking from the fruits of the story - apple, pears, plums, and more - Beth created felt fruit manipulatives and some fabric numbers. First her preschoolers were charged with the task of sorting the fruit by kind, then Beth invited them to count each grouping, matching the correct numeral to each bunch.

Butterfly Life Cycle Interactive Emergent Readers

Students created a fun interactive emergent reader using a combination of finger, fist, and hand prints!

  • "A little egg lay on a leaf." - Students create a small egg with their fingerprint.
  • "Out hatches a caterpillar. He eats and eats and grows and grows." - Students make a caterpillar print using their entire finger. For fun, have students alternate the color between knuckles!
  • "The caterpillar builds a chrysalis." - Beth had students make their hand into a fist, then trace it (upside down so the 'fat' part is on the bottom) on the paper and color it in.
  • "A few days later, a beautiful butterfly pops out!" - Students create a butterfly body with their finger, then trace a full hand print on either side to create a butterfly.

[NOTE: Consider having students make the prints using craft paint for more vibrant pages.]

For a list of songs and fingerplays (as well as lyrics!), a tutorial on cute butterfly finger puppets, butterfly snack ideas, and other fun learning center activities, be sure to visit Beth's full post at From The Hive!