First Lesson in Life Cycles

The arrival of Spring heralded a new era in Freida’s little education. I decided to start doing some actual teaching, through proper “units”. This will be the first in a series of (hopefully) many, in attempt to be the first to teach my little lady about the facts of life – on a 2 year old’s level, of course! :)

Freida has been obsessed with butterflies since she was about 6 months old (she was watching her cousin’s Wiggles DVD and upon seeing “The Butterfly Flit” her breathe grew rapid and her little toys didn’t cease twirling!), and I figured Spring would be the perfect time to introduce the concept of Life Cycles – via the classic childrens illustrations of Eric Carle.

I broke out the over-sized board book that I had bought a few months earlier, and popped in the included audio CD of the author reading the story of this iconic and beloved little green critter…

Naturally, she gravitated toward “Saturday” – the day he ransacked a picnic…

She always loved that Press ‘n Go caterpillar toy (I think it’s actually meant to be an inchworm), and she was really interested in learning about how he was born and what he eats etc.

Once we bonded enough with the story itself, I let her play with some story-theme stick-ons (I had found for $2 in Marshalls) which ensued into a full-on foods matching game.

I think the life cycle aspect is really well brought out and easily graspable in this book…

Also, I decided to go with this book as a start to learning in “units” because aside from the life cycle concept, this book can be an awesome art reference (collage style, tissue paper art, an introduction to abstract etc.), a start to the calendar (as it goes through the days of the week), an early and easy-enough math lesson (counting the fruits),  a lesson in cause and effect (poor little guy ate so much he wound up fat and with a stomachache!), etc.

I’ll post here and there about this unit as we make our way through this sort of learning exploration for the first time.

For now I’ll leave you with a little video, celebrating The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s 40th Birthday:

Also, check out this totally wicked project – felted food to accompany the book!!