Friday, May 31, 2013

Bugs for Preschoolers - Part 2

I have a confession to make: my bugs unit was not nearly as hands on and Montessori-inspired as I would have liked it to be. In fact, most of this school year was not as Montessori-inclined as I thought it would be. A big part of it comes from my last minute planning and lack of "props". For example, I had no access to any rubber bugs for this unit which made it very frustrating in trying to create fun trays for Adrian. Resources being limited here, I often have to shop online and thus have to order very much in advance and often pay much higher prices than if I were, say, to shop at bargain stores of thrift stores. Anyhow, to avoid feeling this dissatisfaction next year, I am already planning what we will be doing next year in "tot school" and "Kindergarten". Here's to learning! :)

Coffee Filter Butterfly
Coffee Filter Butterfly 

Who hasn't done one of those? It's one of the first craft that comes to mind when I think of coffee filter art. To make the butterfly more "symmetric", circles were drawn from the middle and outward on two coffee filters. Hey, butterflies have four wings after all! :) When Adrian felt happy with the circles and colors, he sprayed some water and left them to dry on paper towels set on our radiators (yes... they are still on at the end of May!) In a matter of minutes, they were dry and ready to be gathered together with a pipe cleaner. Adrian chose a  dark green color and had much fun making his insect fly through the air. 

Butterfly Coffee Filter Progress
Butterfly Craft in Progress

Counting Butterfly Gems
Counting butterflies

Although this was their first outing, these butterfly gems were picked up two yeas ago at Michael's craft store in the bargain section. They're officially stickers if you take the time to put the glue dot on the back which I didn't. I purchased several boxes of various colors and took them out this week for a counting activity. I wrote down several random numbers and Adrian proceeded to put the butterflies under. Notice how he chose to use a single color for each number? Made it look so pretty.

Butterfly Bath Applique Marbles Tray
Butterfly bath applique, marbles and toast tongs

I finally got to have Adrian try a more "challenging" version of the marbles and suction cups! The spacing of the cups was good so I set out marbles, toast tongs and a butterfly bath applique and he set to work. I think he did this as fast as he would have with his fingers...Hmm. So much for a challenge. After this year is over, so will the bath appliques! :)

Tonging Marbles onto Butterfly Suction Cups
Adrian carefully setting marbles down

Life Cycle Butterfly
Insect Lore's Butterfly Life Cycle

To change things up, I purchased this Butterfly Life Cycle kit instead of printing cards. I like to use props over cards and Adrian was quite happy to see "the real thing". Prior to bringing this tray out, we watched a short video showing the life cycle of butterflies. Then Adrian had to re-create the life cycle using these props. 

Watercolor Butterfly
Watercolor - Butterfly

A little while ago, I discovered Trilium Montesori School through one of their blog links. I was hooked. Trilium Montessori is actually a real physical school which also happens to blog every so often about what they do when class is in session. A few weeks ago, they shared a great post about Insects. I so wished my son could have been there and attended. It looked so fun. From that post I gathered the link to download this beautiful butterfly to watercolor. Adrian usually colors all over without much organization or care but this time, I asked him to try to respect boundaries a bit more (aka stay within the lines). I told him he could for example choose a different color for each section and even try to do a symmetric butterfly. These were all suggestions of course but I was happy when he showed me the finished butterfly. I could tell he had been careful.

Matching Butterflies
Butterfly Matching

Thanks to PreKinders, I didn't have to create my own butterfly matching game although, if I had more time, I might have. PreKinders' isn't bad by any means but I would have loved to know the names and provenance of all these beautiful "creatures".  (One day, when time abounds (yeah right?), I'd like to make a small set of butterfly cards per continent.)

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  1. We are starting a bugs theme next week and I am going to try almost all of your activities. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. You're welcome! Glad you found some ideas to get you going. I borrow as well so I love to "give back"! :)