Monday, 26 April 2010

Butterfly Feeders

The children in Rainbow and Sunshine classes have been exploring the life cycle of butterflies. We've done lots of exciting activities alongside the story of  The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, from sequencing the story to making caterpillar and butterfly models.


Egg box caterpillars and a butterfly made from a tube are decorated according to the children's own design using tissue paper collage, paint, moving eyes and antennae.   
                           
We've also been enjoying the book, Ben Plants a Butterfly Garden by Kate Perry, a story about Ben the bear who loves butterflies and wants to know how flowers and butterflies grow.
                    
We talked about foods that butterflies might like and found  that they like to drink nectar from flowers. They use their tongues like a straw to sip it.  Butterflies also like to eat over ripe fruit. We found out that butterflies use their antennae to "smell" and that they use their feet to taste. 

 We discovered that butterflies are able to see the colours red, green and yellow and so they like to drink nectar from flowers of those colours.

 They also like the nectar from flowers that are purple, blue and white. 

The children made Butterfly Feeders. They are easy and fun to make and look pretty hanging from a tree in the playground!


Butterfly Feeders 
What you need:
colourful sponges
string/twine
a pencil/tool to make holes in sponge
Nectar Recipe

Nectar Recipe:
4 parts boiling water
1 part sugar
Dissolve the sugar in boiled water
Refrigerate unused nectar for 1 week 
*We used warm water at school for safety reasons
   
What to do:


Make the Nectar and let it cool.  


Take a sponge and using the pencil, make a hole in each corner of the sponge,

   

or make two holes, one in the centre of each short side, if preferred. 

Thread the string through the holes to make hangers.
Knot the threads.


Pour the cooled nectar into a shallow dish.

Press the sponge into the nectar and wet thoroughly.
Outside and ready for hanging!
Remember to check the sponges and add more nectar when dry.


Hang the feeders from branches of trees, and among flowers. Not only are the feeders an additional source of food, they also provide a resting spot for the butterflies while they drink.
       
 A big thanks to Annette for making this activity such a success!



For more information check out these websites:




5 comments:

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

I just saw this project featured on the Crafty Crow and had to tell you how much I like this approach to a feeder. I will definitely make these with my daughters. The monarch migration has started so they will love this. I hope the feeders don't attract the wasps though!

Amanda said...

What a fun project! And so simple, I love it!

I run Fun Family Crafts, a site similar in nature to Craftgawker and Spotlight, but different in that it's a library of craft tutorials geared only at kids. I would love it if you'd stop by and submit this to be featured! (I link to you, I don't post your tutorial on the site) Feel free to submit as many kid friendly craft tutorials as you like! http://funfamilycrafts.com/

Kimira Curic said...

Oh my god! what a beautiful project. We will definitely try it out

Sharon McEwen-Moore said...

Thank you for the lovely comments!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely be using this with my gardening club. Thank you so much!