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Butterflies and Caterpillars: Books, Kits, Poems, and Activities for Kids
As I’m sitting and watching the butterflies and caterpillars outside my window, it reminded me of the fun lessons I used to teach the butterfly life cycle. In addition to doing fun butterfly crafts and writing activities with my kindergarten and first grade students, I would use books and poems to teach all about butterflies and caterpillars.
Today, I’m sharing my favorite butterfly books, butterfly kits, worksheets and activities, and poems to help teach the kids all about butterflies.
Butterfly Books for Kids
In this list, there is a mixture of fiction and non-fiction books about butterflies and caterpillars, best for kids ages 3-8.
This non-fiction, informational, book about butterflies is a must have when teaching about caterpillars and butterflies. Along with a beautiful, vibrant, illustration of a butterfly, there are facts and short paragraphs about that particular butterfly. Some of the facts include wingspan, the common name, a scientific name, the butterflies habitat, and the lifespan of a butterfly.
If your kiddos are fans of Cat in the Hat, then this Dr. Seuss book about butterflies is for them! You will be taken on an adventure into Sally and Dick’s backyard. Watch as they observe a metamorphosis of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Not only will your kiddos see the butterfly life cycle throughout this book, they will also learn facts about butterflies, and follow a migration of monarch butterflies.
When teaching about butterflies and caterpillars, there are endless opportunities to integrate other content areas. This book about counting butterflies is perfect for bridging your science lessons to math and literacy activities.
This non-fiction picture book about butterflies and caterpillars is must have in your collection. If you have a butterfly garden for home or the classroom, this would be a good book to accompany it.
Friends, this book is one of my Eric Carle books. If you read my post about Must-Haves for Kindergarten Teachers, you saw that I absolutely love Eric Carle books. Follow the butterfly life cycle as it begins with an eggs on leaves of plants in the light of moon. The hungry caterpillar hatches from the butterfly eggs and begins eating everything…even things it shouldn’t be eating. In fact, on each day of the week, the caterpillar eats more and more junk food…only to realize it was the healthy leaves that made him feel the best. After spending two weeks inside the chrysalis, a beautiful butterfly emerges.
There are so many ways you can extend the learning from this butterfly book for kids. For example, reinforce a caterpillar and butterfly life cycle, days of the week, growing patterns, healthy vs. unhealthy foods, and retelling. It’s a favorite for many early childhood teachers and homeschool families.
If you’re looking for a butterfly book that kids can read independently, this is it. This level 1 reader, starring Pete the Cat, is an “I Can Read” book that your kiddo will love. Pete goes looking for his caterpillar friend, and is afraid he’s gone missing. In the end, he’s shocked to find out what happened to his caterpillar friend. My friend, Tina, from Teach the TK Way, also recommends this book about butterflies.
Lois Ehlert is a popular children’s book author, and she doesn’t disappoint with this book about butterflies and caterpillars. Where do butterflies come from? How are they born? What do they eat? Lois Ehlert uses rhyming text to grab the kiddos attention, and answer all the important questions about butterflies.
If you’re looking for a simple butterfly book for preschoolers or kindergarten-aged kids, this is a good choice. There isn’t a storyline or lesson to be learned. It’s simply for the purpose of counting and color recognition. Each page has a numeral (1-10), and a set of colored butterflies. The color words are also displayed on each page in large print.
This book was recommended by a fellow kindergarten teacher. She said this book is filled with positive messages about encouragement, while also teaching about the journey of a caterpillar becoming a beautiful butterfly.
This is a classic children’s book about Charlie the Caterpillar. Charlie the caterpillar wants to play with his friends, but, sadly, they won’t let him join because he’s too ugly. As you can only imagine, the story changes as Charlie emerges as a beautiful butterfly. From brown caterpillars to a vibrant butterfly with beautiful parts. There are many lessons to be learned in this book about butterflies and caterpillars.
Learn about 32 different butterfly species that are common in North America. There are a ton of facts and statistics about butterflies for kids throughout this book.
This book is from the National Geographic kids collection with bright picture of different species of butterfly throughout. This is a great book for ages 3-7. The beautiful photographs shows the butterfly’s life cycle. Watch the full growth of baby butterflies and expansion of their butterfly wings in warmer climates.
Miss Penny brings her butterflies to class, and the kids are amazed by the complete metamorphosis. Although she loves all of the different butterflies, there is one that she becomes friends with. Do a prediction activity with your kids before the story, asking what type of butterfly do they think is her favorite.
10 crunching caterpillars in the bright sunshine. One fell asleep, so that left…
This counting book is also a great sensory book, with tactile pages for the kids to touch
Life Cycle of a Butterfly Kits: Young Caterpillars to Beautiful Butterflies
There are plenty of kits available to watch the complete process of metamorphosis. The life cycle of the monarch butterfly, or any butterfly, is amazing to watch. The male and lady caterpillars usually leave the milkweed plant, or host plants, during the fifth instar to pupate. Once ready, the tiny caterpillar finds the best time to anchor itself. The caterpillar attaches itself to plants such as milkweed leaves.
This highly rated kit comes with two cups of five live baby caterpillars. The inside of the cup includes all the nutritious food that hungry caterpillars need, so they can eat and grow until it is time to create their chrysalides (or silky cocoon). The butterfly caterpillars will remain in the cup and will eat, spin silk, and grow! After seven to ten days, during their final caterpillar days, they will hang upside down and harden into chrysalides. Kids of all ages love observing the caterpillar’s life stages, and claiming their own butterflies after watching the butterfly’s life cycle.
This butterfly kit has a large tuck-away learning panel. It allows kids to take a closer look at the stages of metamorphosis, along with the early-learning biology facts included.
You get: 10 caterpillars shipped when you order now (shipped as 2 cups of 5), caterpillar food, Mister, butterfly feeder, sugar, eye dropper, easy instructions, life cycle coloring page.
Printable Activities for Butterflies and Caterpillars
The following are the resources I have created to support the learning process about butterflies and caterpillars.
This is a no-prep, interactive, word work center for kids ages 4-7. You will get 2 printable resources in 1: Making Words and Illustrated Word Cards – great for learning about butterfly vocabulary.
Students read, cut and pasted letter tiles to build, write, and illustrate life cycle words: egg, caterpillar, leaves, chrysalis, cocoon, butterfly, wings, sun, nectar, and antennae. Differentiation is a breeze with these Making Words activities. The kids can write the vocabulary word, practicing concepts of print, or write a sentence using the vocabulary word.
Building sentences: Butterfly Facts is a no-prep language arts center. Printable worksheet activities reinforce emergent reading and writing skills, such as concepts of print, sentence structure, sight word recognition, punctuation, and illustrating. It supports your informational, non-fiction, text.
Students cut and paste word tiles to build sentences about butterflies: one fact on each page. When done, they draw an illustration to match the sentence.
At Level worksheets include the sentence at the top of the page.
Above Level worksheets do not have the sentences printed. The students identify the word tiles, and put the words in order to make a sentence on their own.
Put this Caterpillar Garden poem and word cards in your pocket chart poetry center, and watch as the kids become excited to read, work together in groups, and recite the fun butterfly poem for kids!
Butterfly Poems for Kids
It’s not a shock that I am adding a fun poem about butterflies and caterpillars. If you follow my stories on Instagram or Facebook, then you know how much I love using poetry to get kids excited to read.
Get your Caterpillar poem, HERE.
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