DIY Montessori-Inspired Activities for Preschoolers — The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

One of our favorite things to do outside is to point out butterflies!  L has been interested in them ever since we visited the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls last summer, so I knew this was something we should begin to study more formally once we started homeschool preschool.  I ordered a butterfly kit so we could watch the whole process of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly.

While we were waiting for the transformation to take place, I put together some Life Cycle of the Butterfly Cards using this image from  You can find many different pictures of butterfly life cycles through a google search, but I liked this one because it showed it as a cycle rather than as a linear progression and it used real photographs.

I cut the cycle into four cards along the lines provided in the photograph.  At Circle Time, we first read The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I was sure to point out each of the different stages of the life cycle in the book.  Then I brought out the cards I had made, and we put them in order.

Finally, we matched the caterpillar and the butterfly from our Insects Toob to the pictures.


Did you think I was finished?  Oh, no.  This lesson would not be complete without a little playacting.  We all got on our hands and knees to act out the life cycle, complete with laying an egg once we turned into butterflies again.  “How does a butterfly lay an egg?” you ask.  Well.  Watch and learn from L.  Please excuse my messy coffee table.  And the noise that comes from L’s bottom at the end of the video.  And my shocked laughter…


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