Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinking Thursdays: Looking at life cycles

With the boy having a bunch of stitches, I've been trying to avoid playgrounds for the moment (lest he fall again and bust the stitches).  So that means more time at home, and alot more reading.  We've been going through some of the books in the Nature Upclose Series by John Himmelman.  I find its a nice way of bringing a bit of nature home, by reading stories about the life/ lifecycles of various living things.  While children will usually learn these scientific facts from non-fiction picture books, the stories help to introduce the organism of interest in a more engaging way to younger children.  The books are beautifully illustrated, and Junior J loves pouring over the pictures and asking "what's that?":

A page from "A Pill Bug's Life".  We've also read "A Luna Moth's Life", and "An Earthworm's Life",
which we purchased off The Book Depository.
We find books by John Himmelman pretty good, after all,
anyone who can make earthworms interesting is worth a read! ;) 

So aside from reading books and our "playacting" the butterfly lifecycle, we've also tried using playdough:

Very simple version of the life cycle of the butterfly. 
Little boy is mainly interested in "making pancakes" (and "eating" them), as well as rolling "ball balls".

Oh, and we found a lost little caterpillar about 1.5 weeks ago.  When we saw him during our morning walk, he was crawling along a pillar, far from any green plants, and might have been a quick and easy meal for a bird.  We decided to go back to look at him in the evening, and he was still stuck in the same spot, so we popped him in a container and brought him home.  (Sorry, no photos of the fellow.  He was really gross-looking with a huge green bulbous head, and I must admit my nausea came back just looking at him squirm.)  We gave the fellow some leaves from our tiny garden (with no idea what he ate since we didn't find him on a plant), and I think he felt quite at home, since we woke up the next morning to find that he had pooped a great deal, and had turned into a fuzzy pupa (which made a huge improvement to his appearance I think!).

So after a whole week of checking on him (Junior J kept running out to the garden to inspect the container), we came back on Sunday night to find this fluttering around in the container:

We had missed the whole emergence from the cocoon bit, but I think the boy was rather excited in being able to see the moth's life cycle actually happening for himself.

How do you help your children learn about life cycles?

PS: A church friend who popped by our house with her daughter was excitedly shown the pupa last week, and was asking about "cocoons" (which are the protective casings spun by moths before their pupation stage), and "chrysalis" (which is the pupal stage of butterflies).  Thought I'd just share, since she was confused, saying that "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle described the butterfly as coming from a cocoon.  We don't really read much Eric Carle over here, but apparantly, there's an explanation for it!

PPS: Thank you for all your sweet comments in the previous post!  Little boy's cut seems to be healing well and doesn't seem to bother him now.  We appreciate all your prayers and well-wishes. :) 


  1. glad to hear that your boy is better (: will continue to keep you and family in prayers. take care!

  2. Juanna: Thank you for praying, appreciate it lots my dear! :) You take care too!

  3. Oh, I love these kinds of science books! Shall try and get hold of them too. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. BeanBean: No worries! Hope Noey likes them, happy reading! :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...