A few months ago, Henry and Annabelle became interested in butterflies. They love to watch them flutter around the park. We read The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and decided we would like to see exactly how a caterpillar would become a butterfly. We ordered some caterpillars and put them in a cage. We fed them and watched the miraculous process of growing, cocooning, and becoming Monarch Butterflies. We fed them oranges and set them free. Henry and Annabelle were fascinated.
We spent weeks exploring the worlds of butterflies. We listened to different kinds of musical instruments and talked about which ones sounded the most like butterflies. We danced with silk veils and with wings on our back and even wore wings around the house, just feeling what it might feel like to be a butterfly.
We made sculptures of caterpillars and butterflies out of different materials like homemade playdough, beeswax, clay, pipe cleaners and tissue paper, and unspun sheep’s wool. We painted caterpillars and butterflies with pastels, fingerpaints, tempera, chalk, and watercolors on different kinds of textured papers, rocks, tissues, even the porch. We watered and weeded our butterfly bushes, and spent lot’s of time watching the butterflies land on the blooms.
After several weeks of living in butterfly world, we came to Martha’s Vineyard and I gave nets to the kids so they could catch eels and tadpoles in the creek. The immediately went outside to try to catch butterflies at the butterfly bushes, but once they reached the bushes, they decided they’d rather catch blueberries instead. There were only two blueberries left on our bushes as the rest had been eaten by the deer and the wild turkeys. Annabelle helped Henry put one blueberry into his net, and she put one berry into her own net. She quickly ate hers, but Henry kept his to make a pie.
Later in the day, Henry and Annabelle made a berry pie with their Dad. They kneaded the dough, mixed up the berries, and were so thrilled to watch their pie bake. In the end it was beautiful, and a quest for butterflies turned into a quest for blueberries…