Welcome to the new Discover & Explore linky! 

The linky is hosted by Edventures with Kids and Fantastic Fun & Learning. 

Each week, we will feature a different theme and ask you to link up your kids activities, crafts, recipes, outings, booklists and family-friendly posts.

 

This week, we will Discover & Explore Butterflies!

Butterflies are popular with kids as they are easily spotted fluttering through the sky during the Spring, Summer & Fall.

If you're lucky, you might even live along one of their migration routes.

And before butterflies flutter, they take the form of caterpillars (which I'm sure the kids have caught and brought into the house to show you -- only to drop the poor things on the way in the door).

There are a number of ways to learn about butteflies both at home and while visiting a few really cool places!

 

butterfly activities for kids

 

Visit a Butterfly House

If your kids are like mine, they are likely to notice butterflies that fly through the yard in the summer and fall.  When my daughter was little, she enjoyed chasing them around the yard to try and get an up-close look at their wings. 

We actually live in an area that's considered a migration route for monarch butterflies in the fall so there are frequent sightings at our house.

During a few recent family vacations, we decided to visit a few butterfly houses or conservatories. 

"What are those?", you ask. 

A butterfly conservatory is similar to a botanical garden or large greenhouse; but instead of growing plants, they raise butteflies!

 

 

learn about butterflies

 

What to Expect During Your Visit

 

During your visit to a conservatory, families can view the full life cycle of butterflies. 

Most butterfly houses will have viewing areas where you can see a large variety of cocoons, along with butterflies as they emerge from their cocoons.  Since so many insects are raised at the same time, there is always at least one hatching.

As you enter the viewing area (which is usually a large dome or room with many windows), you will be given directions and information about how to interact with the butterflies.

 

If you stand very still, or sit quietly, the butterflies will land on you! 

Kids love this part of the experience.  Sometimes you have to be patient and wait a little while, but we've had great luck with 'hitch-hiking insects' during our visits.

We spent more than an hour touring the areas and searching for the different types of butterflies that were living at the conservatories.  At both locations, we were given a list of the various types of butterflies they raised so we could go on a hunt to find them.

As you leave the viewing area, you will be escorted into a small room where the staff will check you all over to make sure you don't have any butterflies that are still 'hitching a ride'! 

The kids got a big kick out of this too -- that the butterflies might "try to escape" on their back or in their hoodie.

 

Discover & explore butterflies for kids

 

Learning About Butterflies

It's important to listen to the information the docents give you during your visit. 

Butterflies have a very short life cycle.  Most butterflies live less than 2 weeks. 

You may encounter some older butterflies during your visit and staff will ask you not to try and pick them up.  You want the butterfly to initiate contact with you.

 

Visiting a butterfly house is a great science lesson for the kids! 

They will be able to see all four phases of a buttefly's life cycle and learn some of the details about what butterflies eat, how they live and where they migrate. 

Both of the conservatories we visited also had some fun activity & coloring pages that taught the kids more about the various types of butterflies.

To find a butterfly house or farm near you, visit the Butterfly Site for locations around the world.

 

More Ways to Learn about Butterflies

Here are some additional resources about butterflies that are great to use at home.  We've included affiliate links for our recommendations so you can check them out to see if they fit with your learning plans.

 

     

Some of our favorite books that share the lifecycle of a butterfly include:

My, Oh My--A Butterfly!: All About Butterflies

From Caterpillar to Butterfly (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1)

Are You a Butterfly? (Backyard Books)

 

 lifecycle of a butterfly

Learn more about the lifecycle of a butterfly with these great hands-on activities that can be done at home!

 

You can also raise your own butterflies at home!

Check out the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden which provides you with everything you'll need for this wonderful nature exploration experience.

 

 We'd love for you to share how you Discover & Explore: Butterflies!

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Please read the following guidelines for sharing:

The linky will be open for 2 weeks so feel free to come back and link up any new posts you do. 

Each of the host blogs will be choosing a few great ideas to be featured in a round-up post and pinned the Discover & Explore Pinterest Board!

If you aren't already, please remember to follow us on Pinterest so you're sure not to miss those feature posts.  You can also find us on Facebook and g+ too!