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Butterfly Storytime

Well, it’s back to testing our updated storytime kits! This week I used Butterflies. You’d think there would be a plethora of wonderful picture books about beautiful butterflies. You’d be totally wrong. Most butterfly books aren’t great for storytime, either because they’re too long or they’re just boring, and almost every single one focuses on the butterfly life cycle. Okay, we get it: egg, caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly. It’s awesome! However, explaining it six times to a group of fidgety preschoolers is less awesome. I worked hard to get some variety into this storytime and I’m not completely sure I succeeded.

We read:

Butterfly, Butterfly by Petr Horacek

We storytime presenter folks can’t get enough of this book. You can use it with a Colors theme (although some of the colors are in shades or combos that may confuse your kids), a Garden theme, or a Butterfly theme. Dye-cut holes give hints about the colors you’ll see on the next page, and there’s a gorgeous pop-up butterfly at the end that looks just like the one on the cover.

Interactivity factor: Medium


Don’t Worry, Bear by Greg E. Foley

Bear’s worried about his friend Caterpillar, whose cocoon is out in the wind and weather. Eventually Caterpillar becomes Silk Moth.

Interactivity factor: Low



Where’s My Mom? by Julia Donaldson

Butterfly tries to help Little Monkey find his mom, but takes him to an elephant, a snake, and many other animals instead. Finally it comes out that Butterfly’s babies don’t look like Butterfly, so Butterfly just didn’t realize Monkey’s mom would look like Monkey.

Interactivity factor: Medium. You can ask the children, “Is that Monkey’s mom? No? What is that?” for each animal.



Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

A beautifully illustrated discussion of the butterfly life cycle. Every child should have this book. However, it’s pretty lengthy and the kids were not into it at all because it isn’t naturally interactive and we’d discussed the life cycle so much already. For my second session, I skipped this and used…




The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain

This book also depicts the butterfly life cycle, but while Ehlert’s book (which, once again, every child should have) takes a fairly strict nonfiction approach, this book has a cute main character who dreams of flying and funny illustrations. It’s not necessarily more interactive, but the kids were more interested. Honestly, I think I would skip a picture book and use a nonfiction book with photos if I did this storytime again.


Action Songs

There’s a Tiny Caterpillar on a Leaf (tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)

There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf, wiggle, wiggle,
There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf, wiggle, wiggle,
There’s a tiny caterpillar, a tiny caterpillar, a tiny caterpillar on a leaf, wiggle, wiggle. (children do wiggling action for this verse)

There’s a big fat caterpillar on a leaf, munch, munch, etc (munching action)
There’s a pretty butterfly on a leaf, flutter, flutter, etc (fluttering action)

Source: Perpetual Preschool

Flutter, Flutter Butterfly (tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Flutter flutter butterfly
Floating in the springtime sky
Floating by for all to see
Floating by so merrily
Flutter flutter butterfly
Floating in the springtime sky

Source: Spring Mixer Family Storytime


The Butterfly Song (to the tune of “Up on the Housetop”)

First comes a butterfly and lays an egg,
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs,
Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,
A little chrysalis to sleep in.

Oh, oh, oh, wait and see
Oh, oh, oh, wait and see
Out of the chrysalis, my oh my
out comes a pretty butterfly.

Source: CanTeach

Butterfly1 Butterfly2

As you can see, the chrysalis has a pocket. The butterfly folds up and fits inside, and with the correct choreography, you can make this flannelboard seem like a magic trick.

Craft: Cardboard Tube Butterflies

You need a coffee filter, a t.p. tube, glue, crayons, and a piece of pipe cleaner about an inch or two long. Oh, and probably Scotch tape. Fold the coffee filter in half and cut into butterfly wing shape. The kids color the wings, then glue the coffee filter (sorry, wings) to the cardboard tube. Then bend the pipe cleaner bit into a V-shape and glue or tape it to the inside of the head end so that the ends of it stick out like antennae. The kids had a GREAT time designing their own butterflies.

How It Went:

I think this kit is MUCH stronger than it was, but I might want to find a nonfiction paperback with some pretty butterfly photos to add in as well. The kit also includes The Very Hungry Caterpillar in board book format, and we also have it in big book format now, but it’s so time-honored that I didn’t feel like it really needed testing. Anyway, the kids really seemed to like the book with the monkey and anything that involved fluttering, and they worked happily on their butterfly crafts at great length because they wanted to get them just right. I’d call the week a success if not the high point of all storytimes ever. Next week, Fall!


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