Reinforce responsible behavior in your child by adding a colorful paper caterpillar link each time your child acts in a responsible way at home or school.
- Target Age: 4-7
- Language and Literacy Skills
- Social and Emotional Skills
- Science and Discovery Skills
- colorful paper; construction paper (green for caterpillar)
- glue or stapler
- choice of writing tools: markers, pens, glitter pens
Directions: Begin making links by cutting 10-20- 1 x 6 inch paper strips. Begin the caterpillar's body by cutting out and attaching a larger circle for the caterpillar's head to an end link. Cut out two smaller circles to glue onto the "head" for "cheeks." Add eyes, lips, eyelashes, etc. Each time your child acts responsibly, reward him/her by adding a link to the caterpillar. Date and describe your child's responsible behavior on each added link. Best of all, set a goal to enjoy a fun parent-child reward together when all of your child's links have been added.
Find out what your child knows about the life cycle of a butterfly. Then use learn more together about these fascinating creatures by visiting bookstores, libraries or local habitats (botanical gardens, nurseries, etc.) that showcase butterflies native to your area.
Talk about It: Ask your child if he/she is aware that insects have three body parts, six legs, and that most insects also have wings and antennae. Then ask your child to guess common insect names like ants, flies, bees, and grasshoppers. Follow this thought by going outside to collect some real insects. Give them a good look then let them go about their "buzzi-ness."
Take it Further: It's true. Caterpillars do turn into butterflies! Make a handprint butterfly by tracing around each one of your child's hands twice to make four sets of wings. To make the butterflies (insect) three-part body, cut a long oval (middle section) and another oval (tail section) that is half the length of the long oval, along with a smaller circle (head) from a paper plate. Glue body together and attach wings on the back side of body with the fingers pointing outwards. Add a face with markers or colors. Fold a pipe cleaner in half and curl ends for antennae and attach to head with glue or stapler. Have your child date and sign this original work of butterfly art.
With a Group: Create larger, individual butterflies using the ideas from above. Enlarge hand patterns by using a light, projector, or overhead to make a silhouette to trace a large pattern from. Have children list goals, accomplishments, responsibilities, or special interests on each "finger" section of the wings. Hang from the ceiling or attach to a large wall.
- Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Philomel)
- DK Readers: Born to Be a Butterfly (Level 1: Beginning to Read) by Karen Wallace (DK Publishing)