If your child has been showing an interest in butterflies lately, why not extend on their interest with these ten top butterfly activities!
1. Learn about Butterflies
Start your butterfly journey by learning all about them. Check out these great websites:
We’re learning about the endangered Richmond Birdwing Butterfly and thankfully we’ve found a great website that’s given us wealth of information Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network.
2. Search for Butterflies
Go on a nature bushwalk and hunt for butterflies. You’ll need to focus on finding a butterfly if you’re searching for them, one could flutter right past you and you’d miss it. It might take some time but when you finally find one, you’ll smile from ear-to-ear! Make sure you take these explorer essentials with you too!
3. Make the mask
It can be hard to find Butterflies in the wild so I’ve created a mask for children to help them connect with the colourful insect through play. This butterfly mask is a Richmond Bird Wing Butterfly.
You can also download the eyes and proboscis (tongue) butterfly mask here.
3. Butterfly play
When we play this simple game at home, the girls love it. Simply ask you children to act out exactly what you say. Use a calm, gentle voice and talk about each part of the life cycle.
Here’s what I usually say.
‘ A tiny little egg sat on a leaf. It was very still and very small. The egg was still for quite some time (pause). Then, the animal inside started to wriggle. It didn’t break open the egg, it was just getting ready to leave its comfy warm egg home (pause). Suddenly, the egg hatched and out popped a little caterpillar. He slowly stretched his body out long and moved all his limbs one by one (pause). Soon, he started to feel very hungry and looked for some nice, juicy leaves to eat. He ate and ate and got bigger and bigger until he was so big he could hardly move. Then, he started building his cocoon. He weaved a silk button below himself and then he stood on it. Next, he shed his skin by gently wiggling his body until he was covered in a chrysalis. He was very patient while his body changed within his new home. He waited and waited and waited (pause). When he was ready he started to make his way out of the chrysalis. He gently pushed his way out making sure he didn’t damage his delicate wings. Once he had climbed out, he raised his beautiful, colourful wings and froze to let them dry. When the butterfly felt confident he flapped his wings and rose in to the air. He fluttered past some trees and through the forest looking for beautiful colourful fruits to eat. Now he was old enough to help make babies too.’
5. Read Butterfly Books
There are a heap of butterfly books out there. Go to your local library and you’ll find plenty. We have been focusing on two books about butterflies. The very popular book by Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Birdwings’ New home by Lynette Reilly.
6. Plant a Butterfly Vine
We were lucky enough to get a Richmond Bird Wing Butterfly vine to plant in our garden. It wouldn’t take much to find out about a vine to plant that would help a butterfly in your area.
7. Colour in this Butterfly Colouring Page
8. Visit a butterfly house
It’s quite sad that we don’t have a butterfly house where we live any more. I know my girls would be memorised seeing so many butterflies up-close and watching them feed using their long proboscis. It would also be really good to see the different chrysalis made by different butterflies.
9. Rescue Butterflies
This website explains how to help a butterfly should you find a sick or injured one. It gives you a solution to feed butterflies and also explains how to hold them without damaging their wings.
10. Butterfly Conservation – How can you help?
Butterfly Conservation has a lovely list of ways that you can help with butterfly conservation. Read on and act for butterflies!