A few years ago, a friend introduced us to the wonder of raising our own caterpillars and watching them grow, metamorphosize, and fly away as butterflies. While we usually do this later in the spring, I had the foresight to order a caterpillar kit the day we learned school was cancelled for a while. So, for two weeks, we’ve been nurturing our caterpillars to their current chrysalis stage. And it dawned on me yesterday that this would make a very easy and terrifically fun theme for the morning! Read on to learn all about our caterpillar morning from yesterday and to see what our theme is going to be today.
To begin with, just go ahead and order yourself an Insect Lore Butterfly Garden and Cup of Caterpillars. (All links for purchase are Amazon Affiliate links. Thank you for considering making a purchase through my links!). Trust me– your children will have a blast, and it’s a perfect quarantine/social distancing pastime! While you’re at it, you may want to try to find an informational book about caterpillars and butterflies. Unless you’re significantly more well-versed than I in the life cycle of a caterpillar, your children will have questions that you can’t answer and a book is helpful. We’ve been using this National Geographic Kids Caterpillar to Butterfly for a few years now (you can see how well-read it is!).
Then, go find your old, tattered copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. If you don’t have one, it’s a classic worth owning. We’re also fortunate to have received the Spanish version for Christmas, so I busted that one out for Caterpillar Day, too.
Then, you can quickly and easily make a little math activity for your kiddos to do while you cook breakfast. Our “Counting Caterpillar” pages were inspired by my friend Theresa at Literacy in Motion on Instagram. I set it up so that our first grader skip counted her way across the caterpillars, and our preschooler simply worked on one-to-one counting and writing her numbers. All you need are markers and dot stickers, and if you don’t have dot stickers, markers will do!
While the kids are working, whip up some silver dollar pancakes and use a few of them to shape out a caterpillar walking across a plate. I used blueberries to try to make a face and thin slices of strawberries for legs. Take a close look at my picture– these don’t have to be Pinterest-worthy… The girls got a kick out of them anyway!
As the children eat, read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in multiple languages if that works for your family, and maybe flip through your informational book, too. Admire your caterpillars, chrysalises, or butterflies while you read.
And then, for some movement, round out your morning with a quick Cosmic Kids Very Hungry Caterpillar yoga session!
That’s it! It’s simple and very, very fun. The beauty of a morning like this is that you can go as big or small as you want, but because it’s different and special, your kids will have a blast. We kept our morning fairly simple, but we could have taken it even farther with writing and art projects, too. And, in the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that our preschooler diligently drew legs on each and every caterpillar segment, counted halfway through the second caterpillar, colored the third one, and then drew a butterfly in the blank space. But she’s a preschooler and this was all in the name of fun, so that was just fine!
Up next — we’re reading Tomie dePaola’s Pancakes for Breakfast, doing another little quick and easy learning activity (I’m envisioning matching pads of “butter” (yellow construction paper squares) to pancakes (brown circles drawn on paper) based on dots and numerals (to work on subitizing for the preschooler) and two words and contractions (for the first grader), and making pancakes together. Stay tuned for how Pancake Morning goes!