Posted by: Jacquie Fisher   

30 Life Cycle Activities for Animals & Insects

Explore the life cycles of animals and insects with these fun hands-on activities!

Did you catch our post on Exploring Animal Habitats earlier this year?

Kids just love to explore all the places that animals live and observe their behaviors.

And they love baby animals!

Heck, I love baby animals - they are so darn cute :)

And of course, we get all those wonderful questions --

"How do the animals have babies?"  

"Does the animal have eggs or a live baby?"

"Why does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly?"

There's that wonderful sense of curiosity coming to play again!

So today we're exploring life cycles for all types of animals with some great books, crafts and hands-on science activities!


 

Animal life cycle activities & books for kids

Animal Life Cycle Activities

The main goal of teaching children about animal life cycles is to help them understand that not all insects, animals and mammals reproduce and grow in the same way. 

Some have eggs; others produce live off-spring. 

This can be a very eye-opening experience for kids and one they enjoy seeing unfold!

We're including ideas for books, crafts and science activities to use as you explore the life cycles; affiliate links are also included for more information.

 

Books about Animal Life Cycles

 

Follow along as a caterpillar is brought into a classroom one day.  From Caterpillar to Butterfly (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) is a wonderful introduction to how a caterpillar transforms to a butterfly.  The book reads like a fictional story with non-fiction elements woven through with wondeful illustrations.

 

This is a book that will grow with the kids -- From Egg to Chicken introduces kids to a chicken's life cycle.  The book has some easy text for younger kids along with great in-depth details that older kids will enjoy learning.  There's also a great glossary included -- and be sure to read the "chicken facts"; even adults will learn a few things!

 

In addition to introducing kids to many types of frogs, National Geographic Readers: Frogs! also shares the details about the frog's life cycle.  Kids will love the photos along with all the fun facts about frogs around the world.

 

The Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle has gorgeous illustrations and so many wonerful details about sea turtles and how they grow!  Readers will really enjoy following the journey of a sea turtle as they migrate to the beach where they were born, lay eggs and then watch those eggs hatch & grow into adult sea turtles.  A detailed glossary is also included.

 

 Another wonderful book about the turtle's life cycle -- a loggerhead turtle -- is One Tiny Turtle: Read and Wonder .  The illustrations are beautiful and even though it's a non-fiction book, the text reads much like a story that younger kids will enjoy hearing. 

 

And older kids will really enjoy the activities and details found in Explore Life Cycles!: 25 Great Projects, Activities, Experiments.  This is a book series we really like for elementary and middle school kids -- it includes in-depth projects along with many facts that will interest and amaze kids. 

 

 

Life Cycle Crafts & Learning Ideas

There are so many animal & insect life cycles to explore! 

Choose one of your child's favorites with this great list of ideas.

 

animal and insect life cycle projects

Life Cycle of a Butterfly

See the various stages of The Life Cycle of a Butterfly with this series of hands-on projects.

You can also use these Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly which give you a close-up look at each stage of the life cycle.

Head over to visit That Artist Woman to see a gorgeous butterfly life cycle art project.

Create your own Butterfly Life cycle necklace with this fun project from Fun-a-Day.

Crafting the life cycle of a butterfly using a paper plate & pasta from Buggy & Buddy.

And I love this Butterfly life cycle bracelet from Crafty Moms Share -- a great way to reinforce learning.

Growing Book by Book shows us how to make a Butterfly Life Cycle story board.

Over at My Little Me, you can follow the life cycle of a monarch butterfly from caterpillar to adult -- they have some wonderful photos!

And younger kids will enjoy this activity from Learning 2 Walk -- create the butterfly life cycle using play dough!

 

Frog Life Cycle

Use these Life Cycle of a Frog worksheets from Itsy Bitsy Fun to reinforce what the kids have learned.

The Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Frog figures are a great item to use when making your own life cycle craft!

Play Frog Life Cycle hopscotch with this great get-up-and-move learning activity at Tiny Tots Adventure.

School Time Snippets re-created the life cycle of a frog on a paper plate with this fun craft.

Life over C's has a free printable frog life cycle booklet the kids can color and put together!

And if you're really adventurous, you might want to try raising your own tadpoles!  All about Frogs shares many of the details you'll need to know to get started and raise healthy frogs.

 

Insect Life Cycle Activities

Itsy Bitsy Fun has some free printables that show the Ladybug Life Cycle.

Learn about the disappearing honey bee and explore more with this Life Cycle of a Honey Bee model.

Create this wonderful Ladybug life cycle sensory activity from Natural Beach Living.

And kids will have a great time with these Ladybug life cycle coloring pages from Crystal & Co.

 

More Animal Life Cycle Projects

Rainy Day Mom shares the life cycle of a sea turtle and how to sequence the phases.

Munchkin & Bean shows us how to create the habitats that occur during the sea turtles life cycle phases.  You can use the Safari Ltd Life Cycle of a Green Sea Turtle figurines to re-create your own turtle habitats.

I Heart Crafty Things has an adorable egg craft that displays the life cycle of a chicken!

If you're looking to add more science to your classroom or science table at home, I LOVE this set of 4 Life Cycle Peg Puzzles which are the perfect combination of fun & learning for younger kids!

Exploring Nature showcases the details about the life cycle of bird including a free printable worksheet and kids will really enjoy the miniature life cycle flip books they can make for a butterfly, frog, bird and plant.

Pinya Homeschooler has some free printable life cycle cards that cover insects, mammals, birds & more!  These would be great for sequencing after reading a book or discussing the life cycle phases.

Older kids will enjoy creating a triorama to display the four phases of a life cycle -- this would be a fun project to use when exploring the ladybug or buttefly life cycle.

 

Related Activity:  Names of Animal Groups {w/free printables}

 

More Animal Activities your kids will LOVE:

Zoo Scavenger Hunt & Wild Animal Activities

Learn about Animal Groups {free printable}

Ecology for Kids: Exploring Biomes

 

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