Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bugs: Butterflies

Small group today...wasn't quite sure how to handle myself.  :-)  Only 2 preschool students and 1 child younger then preschool age.  It sure was fun though!  It was drizzly out and they wanted to start kitchen time early so we did and spent a LONG time with our work. Was so interesting to observe them and listen to their conversations!  If you don't take the time to do that regularily, please do.  I know it's not always the most natural thing to do but listening to them will tell you a lot about their development, interests and even the things that might be bothering them.  

So, I wore cream top and cream colored skirt today because we weren't "really" painting.  LOL  I should have known better.  I was splattered and smeared with paint by the time the morning was over.  They really got into this I've done variations of many times a year.  They never tire of it!  Here's some of them.  My only limit was, "when the paint gone, it's gone."  They didn't use it all up but most of it.  So then I filled them back up for the next kiddo. 
Butterfly Blots
Aren't they cool?!
We used "nancy bottles" which you can get from  These are a nice size for little hands.  Squeezing the paint out of them is a great hand strengthener also.  We used primary colors plus white. The difference between the 3 and 4 year old's exploration was that the 3 year old put paint everywhere on the paper in random spots and designs.  The 4 year old planned what she was doing.  The 3 year old also enjoyed the pressing down of the paper...."It's squishy!".  The 4 year old wasn't too sure about it and wanted me to do it.  Though I always encourage them to do it because it's "their work" so she did until it squished out the sides of the paper.  :-) 

Here's a little song we've been singing.  I had a couple copies of the booklet in my tub but they aren't all that clear and I wonder if they've been copied over and over.  I was thinking I got it off of Dr. Jean's website but I didn't see it on there.  So if anyone knows where I can find a little booklet that goes with this song, I'd love to have the original.   

The Butterfly
Tune:  Up on the Housetop
First comes the butterfly who lays an egg.
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs.
Oh, see the caterpillar spin and spin.
A little chrysalis to sleep in.
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Look and see!
Oh! Oh! Oh!
Look and see!
Out of the chrysalis, my, oh my!
Out comes a beautiful butterfly!

Clothespin Butterflies
Awhle ago I put out a request for scrap material and a couple people in the area supplied me with lovely material.  We use it for various projects.  This is a great fine motor/sensory activity we've done with the materials.  I had cut rectangles and squares out of the material to provide a large variety of color, design and texture.  Then they squish the material together in the center and added clothespins.  K. wanted to put them up on the wall (she must have remembered from a couple years ago!)  So she designed our butterfly wall art!  We've two of them now.
Butterfly and Caterpillar Sound Mats
These can be found at  This is one site I actually pay a membership to.  It is very worth my while.  (Thanks, Lorrie, for introducing me to this site.)  Typically I would use this type of activity as "file folder" activities.  Laminate it and use them here during our program but I like to send these type of things home on occasion because if a parent doesn't see the types of things we do then they don't know we are doing them.  It also makes it easier for them to reinforce the concepts we are teaching.  Can be costly if you are printing them off for each child.  Perhaps they have a black and white version...they typically do!

Split Pin Butterfly
We did the caterpillar earlier in the week.  
The butterfly takes a little more effort and time...especially for the 4 year old who is very conscious of how her cutting looks.  It's exciting though to see my students become so capable with their cutting skills!  This little guy didn't really know how to hold a pair of scissors correctly, and was at the snip/fringe cutting stage.  Now?  He cut the wings out all by himself with minimal help (getting started is the hardest) and reminders of how to hold the scissors.  Daily scissors activities pay off, definitely!

Butterfly Number Chart
I love to use black paper as a background.  Makes the colors so bold looking.  The butterflies are just dyed bow tie pasta.  I use rubbing alcohol and food coloring in a resealable bag.  The longer you leave the pasta inside the bag the bolder the colors...just don't leave it so long that it gets gooey and sticks together.

Here's another simple visual discrimination activity.
Another one that's been around here for quite awhile.  I put Trent up to the table this morning and he just looked at it like, what on earth?!  So I picked one up and matched and then walked away to see what he'd do.  He picked up another and moved it from one to another saying "uttfly" but the butterfly never landed.  :-P  A little young yet but sometimes he does things that surprise me and so I was just curious of what he would do.  If it was just 3 butterflies he could probably have handled it but I think it was way to stimulating and, in turn, overwhelming for him.  Back to preschool students:  It's definitely beneficial to enourage them to describe the butterflies.  If they are unable to describe the butterflies then ask them questions like "where are the butterflies with stripes?"  This helps them notice and label patterns.  Boost that vocabulary! 

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, had an incorrect link for the Sparklebox website. Fixed now.