I love using our outdoor area as a nature classroom. We are lucky to be surrounded by mature trees and flowering shrubs that invite butterflies, birds, bees, and squirrels. Our toddlers and preschoolers are lucky to see all of this in person every time they are out there. And so, creating feeders for these creatures is extra fun. The idea of how to make an easy butterfly feeder came to mind after we released butterflies last month. The children continue to talk about that experience, so I knew this activity would be a hit.
Disclosure: I was given 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever to review for free. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
My blogging friend, Colleen Kessler, an award-winning educator and founder of the blog Raising Lifelong Learners, asked me if I’d like a copy of hew new book 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever. Knowing all the fun activities Colleen shares, I eagerly accepted. Her book is packed with fun ideas to do with your kids outside.
When you put away the video games, close down the computer and turn off the television to head outside, you actually can make yourself smarter. I’m serious. Studies show that being outside around nature can make you calmer, more peaceful, more attentive and even increase creativity and inventiveness.
Those are Colleen’s words, and I wholeheartedly agree.
How to Make an Easy Butterfly Feeder
It was a hard decision to make, since there are so many fun ideas to try. We decided to make the Super Simple Yogurt Lid Feeder on page 90.
What we used:
- Lid from a plastic container
- Hole punch
- 4 long pieces of yarn (We used lacing yarn since they have nice tips, making it easier to thread the beads.)
- Pony beads
- Very ripe fruit
How to make the butterfly feeder:
Punch 4 holes in the lid, as evenly spread out as possible. Tie one end of each strand of yarn between the hole and the edge of the lid.
Invite the children to string beads on the yarn. The book’s photo shows 8 pony beads on each strand. My preschoolers just could not stop at 8. They adore threading beads and kept on going. It made the feeder a little heavier, but we figured it wouldn’t blow around as much in the wind.
Plus truly, if you know me by now, you know that I won’t stop a preschooler from wanting to use those fine motor skills!
This is very much like when we made our macaroni necklaces. I did have them stop every so often so that I could tie knots in between a series of beads. This way if they dropped the yarn, we would not lose all the beads that were carefully strung on the yarn.
And yes, I have learned this from experience. Beads spilling everywhere. And frustrated children!
And so, they threaded those beads until their fingers got tired or we ran out of yarn.
Once the beads were all strung, I tied the 4 pieces of yarn together at the top.
When we were finished assembling the bird feeder, we talked about the fruit we’d place on it. At circle time I cut strawberries, an apple, and an orange and we took them outside. The preschoolers carefully placed the fruit on the lid.
Every so often I’d pick it up by the ends of the yarn and see if it would balance okay. We quickly realized we had too much fruit so we removed some pieces.
We looked around our outdoor area and found a tree that we felt would work best, near lots of flowers. We hung it and stood back, delighted!
We are now watching and waiting for some butterflies to try our feeder! In the meantime, we can make more pretend butterflies to hang in our classroom.
More activities from the book 100 Backyard Activities:
- Wet Bugs, Dry Bugs – Roly Poly Bug Experiment
- The Most Colossal Worm Home You Can Make
- Stupendous Spider Web Art
- Finding and Identifying Bird Nests
- Groovy CD Case Bean Plant
100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! is available on Amazon!
See it on You Tube!
More fun preschool activities:
Get a Full Week of Butterfly Theme Learning and Play
Save time and get right to the playful learning with these printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and there are different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
2) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
3) Caterpillar Uppercase Alphabet Cards
4) Butterfly Lowercase Alphabet Cards
5) Butterfly Life Cycle Cards
6) Butterfly Symmetry Matching Cards
7) Butterfly Life Cycle Word Building Mats
8) Caterpillar Measurement Recording Sheet
9) Caterpillar Patterning Activity
10) Caterpillar Syllable Sort
11) Caterpillar Egg Leaf Counting Mats (Numbers 1-10)
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