Tot School: Butterflies

Tot school this week is all about butterflies. It's been a rainy few days over here, so I am thankful we had a week full of fun exploration to keep us busy indoors. 
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Here were our plans for our butterfly theme:
And here are the details of each activity:
Our favorite butterfly books for the week were:
Caterpillar to Butterfly By Laura Marsh
TenLittle Caterpillars By Bill Martin Jr
ClaraCaterpillar By Pamela Duncan Edwards
From Caterpillar to Butterfly By Deborah Heiligmann
Cut the Fruits:
For a little scissor challenge this week I printed out a whole pile of fruit clip art images for Miss Madelynn to practice with. Most of these shapes are too hard for her to cut out exactly, but since she tends to be a bit of a perfectionist (hmmm, wonder where she got that from...) I thought it would be good for her to work on just "trying her best." After a bit of frustration with not being able to do it perfectly, she settled in to cutting close to the lines and being happy with that. Of course our little hungry caterpillar friend was cheering her on the whole time ;)
Hungry Caterpillar Retelling:
I was inspired by the cute little hole punches in The Very Hungry Caterpillar and knew they would make for a great lacing activity.  I printed out clip art to match the story, hole punched them and Madelynn laced the pieces together to tell the story in order.
Dot Marker Butterflies:

Dot stampers are a great go to fine motor activity. I love how easy it is to spice up a plain old coloring page with bright beautiful dots. I printed a few of these butterfly outlines and let Madelynn design her own butterflies. Easy Peasy!

 Beaded Butterfly:

Beads + pipe cleaners = amazing fine motor creations.  To create these butterflies we used 2 pipe cleaners. After Madelynn nearly filled them with beads, we twisted each side into a large oval with a little bit extra left for the antenna/body.  Then we twisted each oval in the center to create the upper and lower wing for each side.  Using the small piece of pipe cleaner in the center we added one bead on each side for a spacer and then twisted them together to connect both sides and create antennas.

 Pom Pom Stamp Caterpillars:

To stamp these little cuties, I attached pom poms to clothespins, and gave Madelynn 2 small cups of paint.  We dipped, stamped and repeated all over the page to create crawly little hungry caterpillars.

Butterfly Life Cycle:

For me one of the best ways to remember something new is by acting it out, so we acted out each part of the butterfly life cycle.  We started out curling up in a little ball for the egg. Then we crawled on our tummies like caterpillars. Next, we hid in our chrysalis staying very still.  Last we emerged as  butterfly flapping our wings and flying around the room.

Feed the Hungry Caterpillar:
For some throwing/gross motor practice, I printed a large caterpillar head and attached it to a small crate. Then I gave Madelynn another crate filled with fruits and food from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She tried her best to throw them into the basket carnival game style, which turned out to be quite challenging!
Catch the Butterflies:
I found this net in the Target dollar spot and knew we had to use it for some butterfly catching.  Well it was rainy and cold all week which means no butterflies to chase outside. I  improvised with some bean bag butterflies and threw them in the air for Madelynn to try to try to catch.
Butterfly Dancing:
For our butterfly dancing activity, first I tied a few of these scarves together to make colorful flowing wings. Then I put some soft classical music on and Madelynn fluttered around the room flapping her beautiful wings.
Butterfly Color Relay:

  For this activity I printed purple, pink, and yellow butterflies and scattered them around the room. Then I labeled 3 buckets with color words for sorting.  We took turns running back and forth with one butterfly at a time and sorted it into the correct bucket until all of the butterflies were caught.
Butterfly Theme Snacks:
PB & J Butterflies: Cut an Uncrustable sandwich in half for the wings, add a cheese stick in the center for the body.

Waffle Butterflies: Toast and cut a waffle in half for the base of the wings, then decorate with cut up fruit.

Grape Caterpillars: Skewer green grapes for the body, then add a strawberry for the head. Use candy eyes and raisins to make the face.

Fruit Butterflies: Slice strawberries into thin pieces. Arrange blueberries and strawberry slices into butterflies on a plate. Add small grape slivers for antennae.

Butterfly Pretzels: Dip regular shaped and stick pretzels in white candy melt, arrange in the shape of a butterfly on wax paper, add sprinkles and chocolate chips to decorate
Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Black beans, play food, caterpillar toy, mini cups
 Butterfly Play Dough:
In this bin: Play dough, rollers, butterfly cookie cutter, gems, googly eyes, buttons
 Life Cycle Sensory Bin:
In this bin: spaghetti noodles (cooked and dyed green), butterfly shape pasta (dyed pink and purple), green rotini noodles (taken from pre-dyed rainbow rotini box), cups for sorting
Butterfly Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Plastic grass, butterfly toys, silk flowers
Feeding Butterflies Sensory Bin:
In this bin: Mini cups, colored water, toy butterflies, flowers, pipettes

Want all of this week's printables and plans?  You can grab them here:
Or you can grab our entire year of themes and plans here:

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