My daughter’s first introduction to science observation is the Butterfly Garden by Insect Lore. My Kindergarten scientist will have firsthand experience observing and studying the lifecycle of a butterfly in her own lab…her home. I found the kit at my local educational store. The kit comes with a coupon to redeem at Insectlore.com for your caterpillars. The caterpillars were sent to me within a week. All five are currently sitting on my mantle in a small plastic container in which they arrived. So far my daughter has observed the growth of the caterpillar. We check their progress daily.
Soon we will see them in their chrysalis. At that point we extract them from the plastic container and place them in the pop-up habitat. We are anxiously awaiting this stage. It isn’t everyday she will have the opportunity to see a chrysalis and watch butterflies finally emerge from one.
I strongly encourage you to do this type of hands on experiment with your child. This method has fully engaged her into learning about the lifecycle of the butterfly. It is an easy lesson to teach yet it provides such wonder and excitement for a young scientist. It also introduces your child to the skill of observation and patience.
Currently, she is using Real Science 4 Kids Pre-Level Biology 1, for science class. Since we have to release our butterflies no later than September due to weather in this part of the country, we skipped to Experiment 8 in her book which correlates to the lifecycle of a butterfly. This chapter and lab pages guides this observation with probing questions that engage her mind and keep her interested in the process. To enhance her lesson, we are also reading DK Watch Me Grow: Butterfly. This book is beautifully illustrated and written on a K-2 level.
If you want to extend the lesson the obvious literature connection would be The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Every child loves this book and will be excited to see the lifecycle illustrated in the book come to life in her own home. To further the study of this book and the lifecycle of a butterfly to include handwriting, thinking skills, and math, you can purchase From Caterpillar to Butterfly, a short unit study sold on CurrClick for only 99 cents but is on sale now for a quarter!
I cannot wait to share with all of you what happens when our caterpillars make the full transition into butterflies. We are still coming up with names for these little beauties but you can be sure they will all start with “B”.