I originally intended to post all of our insect books (see the Learning About Ants post) throughout the summer. But keeping things according to a plan while being a parent to two little toddlers has not been my strength 🙂 . Fortunately for me, September is a great month for the butterfly study and thus this post, as Monarch butterfly migration happens around mid-September, at least here in Colorado. So instead of completely missing the right time to post this, I happened to accidentally wrap it up at a perfect time to discuss these fascinating natural aviators!
Interesting butterfly facts:
- If a human baby grew as fast as a caterpillar, it would weigh about 8 tons when it was only two weeks old.
- Their eyes are made of 6,000 lenses and can see ultraviolet light.
- Many adult butterflies never excrete waste — they use up all they eat for energy.
- Butterfly wings move in a figure “8” motion.
- Monarch butterflies journey from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles, and return to the north again in the spring.
Butterfly’s life cycle models
Before I jump into sharing with you the pages of our beautiful book on butterflies I wanted to show you the plastic models for the butterfly life cycle I have for the boys. It is rather neat and Eleon (who is a year and few months) enjoys playing with the caterpillar showing how it eats up the leaves! 🙂
I definitely noticed having physical objects available to go along with the subject studied greatly aids their interest and helps them to play out what they learned over and over in many different ways. Just this morning Ale originated playing being a bee that flew around collecting the nectar and making honey to then feed the bee pupa in the bee hive.
Are you a butterfly? book
So here is another beautiful book from the insect series, just like the gorgeous “Are you an ant?” book I shared before (see here). Stunning illustrations, affectionate narrative and lots of little interesting facts about the life cycle of a butterfly. Below are just some of the pages to give you a better idea about the beauty and value of this book.
Where to buy
As most our books I got this book and other books in this series at ThriftBooks.com in used condition. They usually cost $4-$5 per book only and arrive in rather good condition, like you see on the photos.
Learning more about the butterflies
If your children wish to learn more about the butterflies or you want to inspire more of their interest I found this little video being brief, informative and full of gorgeous footage of these wonderful creatures.
Butterflies need our help:
Create a butterflies haven in your yard
A silent environmental disaster is taking place. 76% of British butterfly species have declined in the last 20 years.
Similar situation is taking place in America with Monarch butterflies disappearing quickly as a result of wide use of pesticides and herbicides not only in our agriculture, but also by the cities and homeowners as ‘maintenance’. See some articles here and here.
Butterflies are also using their habitat, as many native plants that serve as their food are considered weeds and are exterminated. For example, did you know that dandelion is a wonderful native flower for butterflies and bees? (not to mention its many medicinal qualities). Consider letting your yard to be a small piece of haven for the butterflies and bees which otherwise are having such hard time surviving in our chemical-loving civilization.
A place to feed
Each region has its own butterflies and native plants they need so much. We live in Colorado’s Front Range. I found this website by the University of Colorado website to be very helpful as far as guidance on what changes we should make in our yard to make it more butterfly-friendly.
By the way, wanted to mention that many of the flowers that are needed for butterflies are easily grown from seeds, which make it very inexpensive, yet your yard will be lush and beautiful. And then you can collect the seeds to plant even more flowers next year! Here are some of the butterfly-friendly flowers that are currently blooming at our yard. Lovely, aren’t they?
A place to rest
Butterflies also need places to take a break 🙂 … flowers like yarrow give a good landing spot, according to an article I read. In any case, they are one of my favorites for their bright colors and easy care.