May 11, 2013

Baby-School: Exploring Caterpillars and Butterflies

Today we explored caterpillars and butterflies. As a child, caterpillars were my favorite. We had a tree in our front yard that we dubbed the "caterpillar tree" because for a week or so during the spring the entire trunk crawled with caterpillars. I used to capture them and keep them for pets. Yup, this was before I became a bug hater! I am astonished at the bravery of my young self. But I suppose if I had to choose a bug, these would be among the nicer options.

We started the day off with our books as usual! I love to start our baby-school days by taking my sweet into my lap for a cuddle and a good book. I get a thrill out of seeing him point to different things that interest him and guiding him through each page. 

Kingston really loves the book Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer , so I let him explore it on his own after we read it. He couldn't resist grabbing the slinky-like caterpillar that runs throughout the center of the book. He was in awe of the butterfly on the last page (which is a pop up), and stroked each wing.

Simultaneously, I set out an invitation to explore using a butterfly teether and a caterpillar-like toy. Really, it was a firefly type bug, but it served its purpose! I had previously popped the Teething Wing Butterfly into the freezer, so that the gel side would be nice and cold. This added a sensory element to his exploration. Since it IS Sensory Saturday, I wanted to add as much sensory play as possible to our learning fun. He had a great type chomping on the cold butterfly.

While he played, I talked to him about butterflies and caterpillars. I used words like, caterpillar, leaf, crawl, cocoon, butterfly, wings, and fly". He was enthralled with the caterpillar toy. I kept holding the wings back and making it crawl on the rug. When the caterpillar had crawled a bit, a let the wings fly forward and flew it up into the air. K thought this was very amusing and waved his arms up and down trying to reach for it!

This is his: "Can I help you Mama?!" face! This kid is hilarious I tell you!

Earlier in the day, while Kingston was napping, I made this simple Sensory Butterfly! I had been perusing Pinterest for some kind of related sensory activity, and came across butterfly sensory bags filled with paint. I loved the idea of that, but K is used to playing with paint in bags. I wanted to fill it with something else for him to explore. I decided that pom poms would be the perfect addition!

For this project you will need: a zip top bag, a Pipe cleaner, and Pom-Poms. This is such a simple craft, and so unbelievably versatile. Simply fill your bag with the pom poms (or anything else you choose - the options are endless!), seal, split the poms down the middle evenly, and secure pipe cleaner around the center. I triple knotted it because I have a little destruct-o on my hands! Then I cut the pipe cleaners to make the antennae shorter, and folder down the tops so that it wouldn't poke Kingston. I love how it turned out!

When I gave it to Kingston to explore, he was instantly drawn by the vibrant colors of the pom poms. I "flew" it into his hands, and he immediately grabbed it. He squeezed the bag, feeling the pom poms move around inside. I pointed out the different colors, and put the sensory butterfly next to his toy butterfly to try to make a connection.

He went back and forth between playing with the sensory butterfly and his caterpillar/butterfly toys. I let him play until he lost interest. I was happy to see that they kept his interest like yesterday with his bee activities. Kingston has a very long attention span, especially when it comes to the introduction of new items. He will play with something new and exciting for a long time. It makes it really worthwhile for me to make things for him. Nothing like a little baby appreciation to make a mama swoon!

After a nice long nap, I helped Kingston make a caterpillar based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I have had this handprint craft saved on Pinterest for quite sometime! I plan on hanging his creation in a frame in our playroom in his book corner. I think it came out adorable!

The day before, I helped Kingston make a related Mother's Day craft for his Glam*Ma and Glam*Ma the Great (aka Macon - his great grandmother). I also had him make one for me because I couldn't resist the cuteness! He made footprint butterflies. These are all over Pinterest, but ours are a little different because Mama stamped K's feet the wrong way. Oh well! I love them.

I know that my mom and grandmother will love those sweet little feet!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day! I am so excited to celebrate my first real Mother's Day with my little buddy.


  1. So cute! I still have my son's hand print Very Hungry Caterpillar from when he was 2 -- it's framed and up on the wall. I'm going to pin this so I can try the sensory caterpillar with the young ones I'll be watching over the summer. Thanks for sharing at Stress-Free Sunday at Fun-a-Day!

    1. Thanks MC! That's adorable!! That's going to be me.. I will still have it framed 5 years from now! :) So excited for you try our activity