One of Little Beans birthday presents was a live butterfly garden from InsectLore. We thought this would be fun to do as a family. Little Bean is a huge nature girl and is currently fascinated by insects.
We turned this into a fab little project as they asked questions and explored the amazing transformation of butterflies.
We’ve explored lots of symmetry during this project. Here is a really simple invitation to play that I set up for them. Using the light panel, some plastic shapes and a mirror, I asked them to create symmetrical patterns and butterfly wings.
We also painted the butterfly lifecycle using watercolours. I was really impressed with the girls attention to detail. I always have a little go myself when we’re painting, because I enjoy it, but also because I think it’s important to model how to use materials. I also think it’s good for them to see me learning and making mistakes along side them instead of as a “teacher”.
The girls made some lovely peg butterflies that we dyed using beetroot juice.
We made some fabric wings and danced around the garden pretending to be butterflies.
These clay butterfly and caterpillar models were so lovely to make and paint.
Here the girls are making colourful, pretty, symmetrical patterns using poster paints. Which we then folded in half and cut into butterfly shapes.
The butterfly topic has also led on to lots of discussions and studies of flowers. The girls have been collecting flowers everywhere we go. Many of these are in the flower press at the moment.
Here the girls are painting some roses that they picked from our garden.
They have been so fascinated watching the caterpillars transform, and became really attached to the butterflies. It has provoked so much curiousity and exploration. We’ve even kept the chrysalides and have been looking at them under the microscope Little Bean got for her birthday.
It was quite a bag of mixed emotions when we set them free. Little Bean was so happy to watch them fly free. A couple stayed in the garden and rested on some flowers, but the rest were straight off and away.
But afterwards she began to cry and said she missed them and felt sad that she might not see them again. We comforted her and cheered her up by explaining that maybe she’ll see them floating around, or she might see butterflies or caterpillars one day that are the babies of her butterflies. The prospect of this is very exciting for her.
This topic was such a lovely, hands on exploration. They have learnt tons and been so excited and driven to explore butterflies.
Setting them free was a true lesson in freedom. All creatures need to be free, just like the girls.