Butterfly Study: Math, Fine Motor, and a Bulletin Board

Here are some highlights of our Butterfly & Insect Study related to math and fine motor...a cute bulletin board too!  If you want to read about our science and literacy activities for our Butterfly & Insect Study click HERE!
In the blocks center, I added small rocks, fake leaves, and fake flowers for students to use.  Here is a sample of some of their butterfly homes they build!  Love them! 
Math - On my math shelf I have many things.  Each time we start a new study I always change my manipulative to keep it interesting.   I added pom poms because they are like caterpillars if you put them together.   You can see the new insect & butterfly puzzles that support the study the the bottom shelf. 
On the top of the shelf is a coloring game, Color and Roll.  My kids LOVE coloring games this year.  There are two levels.  Level 1, students roll a dice, count the number of dots on the dice, and color the corresponding number.  Level 2, students roll two dice, count the number of dots to add the numbers together, and color the sum.
We did a lot of pattern activities during this study.  Caterpillars are great for creating patterns!  Students loved making pattern caterpillars with the pom pom manipulatives.  One activity they loved was Coffee Filter Butterflies.  First, they made a pattern with cubes.  Then they colored the pattern on the coffee filter.  We used pipe cleaners to create the body.  They turned out super cute! 
Pattern Name Caterpillars & Bulletin Board:  There was a little prep work for me.  I coped the circle page on various colored paper and cut small rectangles for legs and used pipe cleaners for the antennas.  I did this as an arrival activity so I only had 6 students max at my table.  Students used cubes to create their pattern, cut out the matching colored circles, and create a pattern then glued it together to make a caterpillar.  Then they added legs, eyes, and antennas.  To add a literacy component, I had the students use each circle for a letter in their name.  Students wrote their names in uppercase  or lowercase depending on their level.  I created a bulletin board of the students caterpillars as you can see.
To build fine motor strength and develop counting skills I created Caterpillar Playdoh Mats for numbers 1-20.  Students had to make a certain number of leaves in the tree for the hungry caterpillar to eat by rolling balls with playdoh!  I also put out insect counters to manipulate with the playdoh. 
The students noticed and talked about how the caterpillars made silk webs to craw on.  In art we created caterpillar web paintings. We used the lid of copy paper boxes as out tray.  Students used tongs to place paint covered marbles in their box lids.  Students moved the box around to make the marble roll around.  I love marble painting because the students have to use their upper arm and shoulder muscles to move the box and their hands to get the marbles out of the paint with tongs.  It was a ton of fun!
 Do you want to try some of the activities we did?  You can!  All of the activities above plus MANY more are included Life Cycle of a Butterfly!


  1. I LOVE your idea of building butterfly houses at the blocks center!! Our school went GREEN last year, and kindergarten is in charge of the 'Butterfly Bungalow Garden'. They each help paint, decorate, and assemble butterfly houses to add to the butterfly garden. This idea would be AMAZING practice for them before they actually decorate and build!! :-)

    Your packet for the butterfly life cycle looks awesome, and so hands-on and engaging for the kinders!! Thanks so much for sharing!!


    1. How wonderful that you have a butterfly garden at your school! I wish we had a "green" space on our playground.


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