Outdoor Butterfly Activities
Butterfly Observations using Chart
I have such fond memories of the Buddleia bush in my grandma’s garden. I would sit on the spongy grass in front of it and watch all the different varieties of butterflies visit. Trying to get close to see their beautiful patterns.
Do you know that a group of butterflies can be called a kaleidoscope of butterflies? Isn’t that wonderful! It’s my favourite fact to tell people and I’ve probably told you before!
In our Field Guide to Butterflies we have a pretty observation chart. It’s blank so that you can use it in different ways. You could record which butterflies you see on which days, or you could record how many of each butterfly you see over a month. There’s nothing to stop you making and decorating your own chart too! And tally keeping is a fun early introduction to data analysis!
Nature Journal Ideas
A double spread page full of butterflies floating off the page, yes please! A treat for the eyes and a wonderful way of expressing the awe and beauty of butterflies. You see, nature study doesn’t have to just mean learning about facts and science, it can be (and should be) about valuing the awe and reverence we experience with nature. And we can capture those feelings in our nature journals.
I would love to hear about your nature journal. Do you prefer to record the science, or do you also capture the feelings?
Life Cycle of a Butterfly using Natural Materials
Making pictures out of natural materials is such a fun and simple form of play outside. You could just begin making a picture and your child may well join you,wanting to see what you are creating. You could make a butterfly from leaves, stones, sticks, pebbles, feathers – any natural materials you can find. And if you want to extend the activity you could make a whole life cycle and include the egg, the caterpillar, the chrysalis alongside the butterfly.
Pretend to be a Butterfly
Use your painted wings to become a butterfly! Dance around the house or park flapping your wings, melting the flowers, floating and embodying all you have learnt about butterflies.
Chalk drawings of butterflies
Children have a lot of fun once they learn how to draw something – it can feel like a cool trick they have learnt that they just want to do over and over again. I remember the children in my class were so proud when they learnt from their older siblings how to draw butterflies and rainbows. They would draw them on everything! Get the chalks out and have fun figuring out how to draw butterflies. You could also draw out the outlines of butterflies and have fun with creating symmetrical patterns for the wings. You can explain it as a bit like turn taking ‘one spot for this wing and another spot for this wing’.