Butterfly Life Cycle Party: Directions


Here are the directions I had at each station.  This site, Learn About Butterflies, is great for printing any images  you want to show them.  It’s also really interesting and will give you a greater understanding of the whole process.

Station 1: Make antennae

Here are your supplies. Make an antennae that will stay on your head throughout your metamorphosis. When you finish, help the younger kids finish theirs. Head over to the next station.

(Put out: any kind of craft supplies and headbands if you have any, pictures of antennae)

Station 2: Egg

Curl up in a ball at the starting point. (if you had an egg, you’d come out of it and then eat the shell). Put on your extra shirt.

Start walking to the next station. You are a caterpillar. So, you’ll need to “crawl” like one. So take three steps (as little or as big as you want) forward and then one step back. If you go too fast and forget how to “crawl”, you might “fall” and have to start back where you began.

Station 3: Caterpillar (larva)

Caterpillars have predators: spiders, wasps, birds. Some of the ways they are able to survive: bright colors make them look poisonous; lots of hair makes it harder for birds to pick them up; some have spines/prickles hidden underneath; some puff up when in danger and have eyespots that look like snake eyes; many are green and blend in with the leaves around them. 

Choose at least two items to help you keep away predators (you may also use any natural items laying around). Put them on. See if any of the younger kids need help.

Head to the next station. Remember 3 steps forward, 1 step back.

(Put out: enough dress up items for each child to put on two, pictures of different types of caterpillars)

Station 4: Caterpillar Math

Pick up a piece of paper and write your answers to the following questions on it.

Caterpillar Math

  1. Weigh yourself. Multiply your weight by 27,000. Write your problem and answer below.
  1. Answer the following question: 4000 – 700

Leave the pencil behind. Head to the next station. Remember 3 steps forward, 1 step back.

(Put out: a scale, paper and pencil for each child.)

Station 5: Eating

Caterpillar Math Answers

  1. Some caterpillars eat 27,000 times their body weight. Check our calculation with the calculator. That number is how many pounds of food you’d have to eat to do the same. (27,000’s of you!)
  1. Answer: 3,300 is how many more muscles a caterpillar has than us. Caterpillars: 4,000 Humans: 600-800

Eat. The main goal of caterpillars is to eat and grow. You’ve grown so much you need to molt, get rid of your first layer of skin. Take off one of the protective items you put on earlier. Keep antennae on. Eat all the food on the plate.

Grab a pair of wings and tape them to your shirt (the one you have on for the day, so under your extra shirt.) These are wing pads. They are already developing so they will be ready when you go in the chrysalis to become a butterfly.

Head to the next station. Remember 3 steps forward, 1 step back.

(Put out: The answer sheet, tape, a pair of little wings – I made mine out of cardboard from cereal boxes, and a plate with however much food you want on it.)

Station 6: More Eating

Getting bigger! Take off the other item you put on earlier. Keep antennae and wings on. Eat all the food on the plate.

Head to the next station. Remember 3 steps forward, 1 step back.

(Put out: Plate of food.)

Station 7: Molt last skin to reveal chrysalis

Now is when your little wings become big!!! Your insides start to shift around and prepare for being a butterfly.

Decorate your new wings and figure out a way to attach them (do not attach yet). Remember butterfly wings are a mirror image of each other. So, make one side match the other! Butterflies use similar tricks to avoid predators, so use bright colors or large circles that will look like eyes from a flying predator.

Take off your last “skin” and little wings. Reveal your final skin (a coat), your chrysalis. Cover up! While in the coat, attempt to put on your larger wings.

Don’t forget to get rid of your waste when you come out!

(Put out: wings, ways to decorate if  using paper wings, and a coat, pictures of different types of chrysalis and butterflies)

Station 8: Attach your proboscis

As soon as a butterfly comes out of the chrysalis, it must put together its proboscis. The proboscis sits under its chin and curls out when it finds nectar. It is like a long thin straw. This is how the butterfly will eat and survive. Butterflies live on liquid only.

You have just emerged from your chrysalis, put together your proboscis. Take two straws and figure out how to connect them to each other so you can successfully drink nectar from flowers.

Once you have put together your proboscis, go find nectar. Skip or fly to the flowers.  Keep the proboscis in your mouth — no using hands!

Remember you are also a pollinator. You will find a bowl of “pollen” next to each flower. Using a spoon, scoop some pollen and carefully take it to another flower. Try not to drop any! The flowers are relying on you to help them spread and grow. If you have found a flower with nectar, drink it and return to the patio.

Station 9: Death

Butterflies usually die within a few weeks of coming out of their chrysalis up to 11 months, depending on the species. Pick a paper to see how you died.

Back to Butterfly Life Cycle Party

Check out the butterfly study we did before the party!

If you want to order caterpillars, you can order on Amazon

Find more ideas on my Butterfly Theme Pinterest Board

Photo Credit: Steve Melo

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