Butterfly – A Mini Unit

We (meaning the husband and C) found a caterpillar while gardening and boy, I must say this little creepie crawlie is God-sent.  I decided to take a break from the alphabet to concentrate on packing and unpacking when we were preparing to move last year, and came this caterpillar (or catelela as C calls it). I cannot miss this opportunity to teach C about caterpillar and butterfly!


We cut off the stem with the caterpillar on it, placed it in a container, and gave it a few more lemon leaves. Why lemon? We found the caterpillar on our lemon plant, and we are suppose to feed the caterpillar with leaves from the host plant. It turned out that the caterpillar was getting ready to turn into a pupae after a day! Unfortunately, it didn’t make it to become a butterfly 😦

To ride on this experience, I planned a series of activities based on the life of the butterfly. Because most of the materials are already packed and boxed, I have to make do with whatever I have or can unpack from the box first.

#1 Egg: colour sorting with pompom
I set up this invitation to play at our new place, while I set up the kids’ room. It was one of the first places to be ready so that the little humans have somewhere to hangout while the adults do their things. This activity focus on colour matching and fine motor skills (pompom transfer with chopsticks).  C has shown interest in using the chopsticks and was beginning to recognize  colours, so I combined these two elements with Stage 1 of the butterfly’s life cycle.

IMG_0669#2 Caterpillar number clipping
A simple math activity that requires C to match the on the caterpillar with the corresponding one on the wooden peg. Lots of practice on fine motor skills!

This activity is quite a hit. Initially we went through the number sin sequence, from 1 and well it wasn’t very fun to C. So I decided to mix up all the numbers and allow C to decide which number pin to pick up. Then I sportcasted the number that was picked up and asked her to find the corresponding number on the caterpillar. After one round, she requested to do it again!




#3 Invitation to wrap a cocoon wrapping
C hasn’t been interested in lacing or wrapping activities. I learned from happytotshelf that what we need her is probably a purpose (or a meaningful context). So here we are creating a cocoon for the caterpillar to turn into a butterfly. It prompted C to attempt to wrap. YAY! Though the action of wrapping isn’t a smooth, we’ll keep practising!

Learning point: if your child isn’t interested in an activity, you might like to repackage and create a purpose for him/her to work on.IMG_0651
#4 Butterfly lego
We didn’t manage a butterfly activity but I built this butterfly with lego duplo.







IMG_0816#5 Bible Verse
One of the books that we read about the butterfly is A Butterfly is Patient by Dianna Aston. With that, I paired our mini unit with a bible verse on waiting.

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7a





This learning unit has inspired me to create a butterfly garden. Since we moved, we have welcomed 4-5 batches of caterpillar on our lemon plant. The first caterpillar coincides with C’s preschool curriculum. They were working on The Very Hungry Caterpillar so she was really ecstatic to see a real butterfly at home! We also can’t do without reading about the butterfly and I’m going to share with you some of our favourite butterfly reads next!


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