Butterflies - link up

from:  made by joey

I have posted some photos of how we decorated our home for our butterfly theme.

We also made these toilet roll butterflies.
Super easy, inexpensive and fun!

~ joey ~
If you would like to have your related links included in one of the themes, click here.

Butterflies - origami butterflies

 Whenever possible, I try to introduce a new craft with a good story book.  An inspirational story that has nice pictures always gets the kids excited about trying something that is unfamiliar to them.
One book that I recently discovered and really enjoyed was Butterflies for Kiri.

The story is about a young girl named Kiri who likes to make things.  For her Birthday she received some origami papers from her Auntie Lu.  After a couple of failed attempts at folding the paper Kiri becomes disappointed about the beautiful paper tearing.  She continues to practice with regular paper and in the end makes a colourful picture that contains a perfectly folded butterfly!

We decided to give origami a try too.

The last page of the book has illustrated instructions on how to fold your own butterfly.  It's quite a simple pattern so it's a great way to successfully introduce origami to children.

I really like that the story illustrates that
"if at first you don't succeed try, try again ".
I highly recommend giving it a try with your kids!
~ joey ~ 

Linking up to:

Keep Calm Craft On {crafting on}

Butterflies - wool butterfly craft

One of the crafts that we made to go with our butterfly theme are these gorgeous wool butterflies.
We followed MamaMoontime's tutorial and they take literally seconds to make!  They are simple enough for every age to try and turn out so pretty!

You just need a pipe cleaner and two different colours of wool roving. (and a bit of thread if you want to hang them)

We hung them in our new branch above the nature shelf but you could also:
~ tie them to a stick and let the kids fly them around the yard
~ mount one in a shadow box
~ tie one onto a gift
~ hang them in the window and let the light shine through them.

I'm sure your family will love making these as much as we did!
~ joey ~

Linking up to:
Keep Calm Craft On {crafting on} 



Betterflies - metamorphosis

July 25th

We have really been enjoying our 'live learning' here watching our caterpillars grow and change!
I should really be posting daily updates as the changes happen so quickly so I'm dating each photo.

July 25th

This caterpillar seems to like to hang out on the lid of the container which gives us a great view of it's underside.  We read that it's supposed to have 16 legs but we haven't found all 16 on any of them, they are so tiny it's hard to tell what is a leg and what is just a bump.

Then we spotted a very exciting change . . .

July 25th

...can you see it? (you may need to click on the photo)  It's made a silk thread around the middle of it's body.  We knew that meant it was getting read to form a chrysalis!

July 25th

And then we found this!
The first chrysalis lying on the bottom of the container.  Apparently it can happen anywhere?!

~ ~ ~

July 26th

I made up this Observing the life cycle of a butterfly printable to record that we found:
0 eggs
6 caterpillars
3 chrysalises and
0 butterflies.

We also measured the shortest caterpillar at 1 cm and the longest at 2.5cm.

We filled in the colour and markings chart to say that the caterpillar and chrysalis are both green, the caterpillar with a yellow stripe and the chrysalis with yellow "spikes".

We noted any changes from yesterday and what we think will happen next as well.

July 26th

You can see the last skin on the leaf that it shed before forming it's chrysalis.  We found the same skin under the other chrysalises as well.

July 26th

The caterpillar on the lid has secured a silk thread so it isn't moving or eating.  I've been checking it regularly so we're hoping that we'll get to actually see it form it's chrysalis.

**Note:  In the time it took me to write this it formed it's chrysalis!  Oh well maybe we'll see the next one?!

Check in tomorrow to see some of the butterfly crafts we've been doing.
~ joey ~

Linking up to:

Butterflies - link up

MaryAnne has shared this really neat 
caterpillar to butterfly craft that her son made at preschool.  I love that the kids can then use it to show a friend or a grown up how metamorphosis happens.  Great for building confidence!

Thank you for sharing this craft MaryAnne!
~ joey ~


Butterflies - live caterpillars

 It just goes to prove that  
"if you plan it, they will come!"
We recently found butterfly eggs, caterpillars and butterflies on our kale plants.  Initially I wasn't very excited that we weren't going to be able to eat the kale, however, the timing couldn't have been more perfect for our butterfly theme.  Real live learning at our fingertips!

 The tiny yellow dots are the eggs.

We managed to carefully capture one of the butterflies for a closer look.  We put it into a clear plastic container and checked for markings that would confirm our predictions that this was a Cabbage White Butterfly.

My daughter eagerly read the field guide and found that the colouring and the 2 spots on each forewing confirmed that this is definitely a female cabbage white butterfly.

We freed the butterfly and collected some of the tiny caterpillars that we found on some leaves.

 Printable record keeping sheet:
Observing the life cycle of a butterfly

The above photo was taken on July 18th.
(can you spot the little guy?)

And the below photos were taken July 22nd.

They are growing very quickly!

We think that the larger ones must have molted a few times already as they are getting very plump!
(possibly the green stuff on the left is shed skin?)


And one thing is for sure, they poop a lot!
We've been adding fresh leaves every other day and I've been cleaning out the container regularly so that it doesn't smell.

I'll post again in a couple of days so you can see how much they have grown.  I wonder how long it will be until they build a chrysalis?

Here are some links for printables of:

the butterfly life cycle
the parts of a butterfly
Have you kept caterpillars and would like to share your links?  Please email me at madebyjoey at gmail dot com.
Thanks for stopping by!
~ joey ~

~ Linking up to:

 Happy Whimsical Hearts 
Learning Laboratory

Butterflies - link up

Becca discovered these caterpillars on her flowers in her backyard and turned it into a learning experience for her children.

Can you identify what they turned into?
Read about their experience and see the fun photos of her kids with the butterflies

Home learning at it's best!
Thank you for sharing your links Becca!
~ joey ~


Welcome to Creative Themes for learning and play!

Hello and welcome!
My name is Joey and I am very excited that you are here today!

Some of you already know me from my other blog made by joey and know that I love to live a creative rich life with my husband and two children on the West Coast of Canada.

I decided to build Creative Themes for learning and play as a method of organizing all of the ideas, photos, reference materials, links, book lists, etc. that I use to create a fun learning environment in our home for our children.
my daughter age 3, 2006
How this information is organized: 

Over time and as the kids matured I accumulated piles of notes so I have used three catagories to organize the information: 

~ Planning Ideas
~ Learning and Play Ideas
~ Book List 

~ Posts are also assigned a Theme which are sorted on the right sidebar.

~ The Search by keyword tool is helpful to find something specific.

~ Under the header photo you will see a "Printables" button where you can print (for your own use only) the printable pages that I have designed to use with certain themes. 

~ Themes are also sorted by academic subjects such as Science, Math, Geography and Language so that you can search for creative learning ideas as well. 

~ To store electronic information I also use Pinterest boards to organize the ideas that I find on the internet.  You are welcome "pin" any ideas from this blog to your own boards.

I hope these tools make it easy for you to access all of the information quickly and easily.

Please check back often as I have only just begun to enter all of the information and printables that I have on themes such as:
 the seasons (Summer, etc.)
the holidays (Easter, etc.)
the beach
the ocean
and many more!
If you have ideas, reference materials, booklists, links, blog posts, Pinterest pages or anything else that relates to one of the themes here and would like to be linked up, please email me at
Buttons for both of my blogs are available to everyone (on the left sidebar) to add to your blog.

The first theme I chose to enter is Butterflies.
This month our family is doing a variety of activities, crafts, games, outings, and learning about butterflies.  You can read more here

I hope that you will join us often to see what we have been learning, creating and celebrating.
You can 'follow' or 'subscribe' on the left sidebar.

See you soon,
~ joey ~


September 22 - December 20, 2012

2012 Calendar Dates:
Autumn Equinox - September 22, 2012
Full Harvest Moon - September 29, 2012
Thanksgiving - October 8, 2012 (Canada)
Columbus Day - October 8, 2012 (USA)
Hallowe'en - October 31, 2012
Daylight Saving Time ends - Nov 4, 2012
Remembrance Day - November 11, 2012 (Canada)
Veterans Day - November 11, 2012 (USA)
Thanksgiving - November 22, 2012 (USA)

Colours to use - brown, dark red, gold, terracotta, plum
Flower - purple aster(michaelmas daisy), purple morning glory
Birthstone - blue sapphire
Astrological signs - virgo, libra
Possible themes -  back to school, farm, Autumn harvest, corn, squash, pumpkins, harvest moon/moon phases 

Colours to use - black, orange, gold, plum
Flower - orange marigold
Birthstone - opal, pink tourmaline
Astrological signs - libra, scorpio
Possible themes - Squirrels, Thanksgiving, Hallowe'en, Dental Hygiene, Fire Prevention Week

Colours to use - orange, red, gold, brown, olive green
Flower - yellow chrysanthemum
Birthstone - yellow topaz, yellow citrine
Astrological signs - Scorpio and Sagittarius
Possible themesSalmon, Eagles, Bears, Remembrance/Veterans Day   
Pinterest Autumn Boards:

Book List:
Everything for Fall - Kathy Charner 
Earthways - Carol Petrash
All Year Round - Ann Druitt, Sue Fitzjohn, Marije Rowling
The Children's Year - Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling
I love dirt! - Jennifer Ward
Let's go outside - Jennifer Ward
Playful Learning - Mariah Bruehl
The Write Start - Jennifer Hallissy

Story Books:
Woody, Hazel and Little Pip - Elsa Beskow


March 20 - June 21, 2012
2012 Calendar Dates:
Spring Solstice - March 20, 2012
Good Friday - April 6, 2012
Easter Sunday - April 8, 2012
Easter Monday - April 9, 2012 (Canada)
Earth Day - April 22, 2012
May Day - May 1, 2012
Mother's Day - May 13, 2012
Victoria Day - May 21, 2012 (Canada)
Memorial Day - May 28, 2012 (USA)
Father's Day - June 17, 2012

Colours to use - aquamarine, light sage, lime green, pale yellow, rainbows
Flower - daffodil
Birthstone - aquamarine, bloodstone
Astrological signs - Pisces, Aries
Possible themes - Spring Solstice, St. Patrick's Day, Rainbows, Toadstools, Ladybugs, Clover, Birds, March comes in like a lion..., Dr Suess (Birthday March 2)

Colours to use - turquoise, white, pink, yellow, purple
Flower - pink sweet pea, pink daisy
Birthstone - diamond
Astrological signs - Aries, Taurus
Possible themes - Spring bulbs, Fairies, Planting seeds, Easter, Baby animals, Chickens, Sheep, Eggs, The Earth

Colours to use - green, purple, pink, yellow
Flower - Lily of the valley
Birthstone - emerald
Astrological signs - Taurus, Gemini
Possible themes - May Day, Mother's Day, Queen Victoria, Memorial Day, The garden, planting seeds, Bugs 
Pinterest Summer Boards:

Book List:
Everything for Spring - Kathy Charner 
Earthways - Carol Petrash
All Year Round - Ann Druitt, Sue Fitzjohn, Marije Rowling
The Children's Year - Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling
I love dirt! - Jennifer Ward
Let's go outside - Jennifer Ward
Playful Learning - Mariah Bruehl
The Write Start - Jennifer Hallissy

Story Books:
The tiny seed - Eric Carle
One watermelon seed - Celia Barker Lottridge
The Mother's Day mice - Eve Bunting
Something for Mother - Laura Alden
Are you my mother? - Dr Suess


June 20 - September 21, 2012
2012 Calendar Dates:
Summer Solstice - June 20, 2012
Canada Day - July 1, 2012 (Canada)
Independence Day - July 4, 2012 (USA)
Civic Day - August 6, 2012 (Canada)
Labour Day - September 3, 2012
Grandparents Day - September 9, 2012

Colours to use - light blue, teal, grass green, lime green
Flower - red rose, red honeysuckle
Birthstone - pearl, moonstone, alexandrite
Astrological signs - Gemini, Cancer
Possible themes - Summer Solstice, Father's Day, Teachers, Gardening/Planting seeds, Flowers, Strawberries, Cherries
Colours to use - red, white, navy blue
Flower - pink waterlily, pink larkspur
Birthstone - ruby
Astrological signs - Cancer, Leo
Possible themes - Canada Day, Independence Day, Butterflies, Beach, Ocean, Boats, Lighthouses, Gardening, Flowers, Blueberries, Nutrition

Colours to use - red, white, navy blue, gold
Flower - yellow gladioli, yellow poppy
Birthstone - peridot, sardonyx
Astrological signs - Leo, Virgo
Possible themes - Civic Day, Geography, Bugs, Beach, Ocean, Boats, Lighthouses, Harvesting the Garden, Back to School

Pinterest Summer Boards:

Book List:
Earthways - Carol Petrash
All Year Round - Ann Druitt, Sue Fitzjohn, Marije Rowling
The Children's Year - Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton, Marije Rowling
Sunflower Houses - Sharon Lovejoy
Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots - Sharon Lovejoy
Trowel and Error - Sharon Lovejoy
Toad Cottages and Shooting Stars - Sharon Lovejoy
I love dirt! - Jennifer Ward
Let's go outside - Jennifer Ward
Playful Learning - Mariah Bruehl
The Write Start - Jennifer Hallissy

Story Books:
The Sun Egg - Elsa Beskow
Blueberries for Sal - Robert McCloskey

Butterflies - book list

Reference/Non Fiction:
~Butterflies of British Columbia (field guide) - John Acorn
~Animals and their Babies - Butterflies and Caterpillars - Anita Ganeri
~Butterflies - Cari Meister
~Monarch Butterflies Life Cycle - Julie Murray 
~600 Butterflies and Moths in full color - W.F.Kirby (Dover Publications, Botanical drawings)
~ Take-Along Guide - Caterpillars, Bugs and Butterflies - Mel Boring
~Butterflies - Butterfly magic for kids - E. Jaediker Norsgaard
~Eyewitness Books - Butterfly and Moth
~butterfly - Thomas Marent (stunning photography!)
~Ed Emberley's Picture Pie - Page 37 "Fraction" butterflies 
~DK Watch me grow Butterfly (print my 'Find the Answer' sheets here)

~The Children's Year - Stephanie Cooper, Christine Fynes-Clinton and Marye Rowling - Page 52 Making butterflies for mobiles or to tie on a stick; Page 44 Crocheted Caterpillar bookmark
~More magic wool - Angelika Wolk-Gerche - Page37 Wet felted butterflies
~Klutz Kits - Twirled Paper (Quilling kit) - Page 21 Quilled butterflies to hang in the window
~Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals - Page 4-5 How to draw caterpillars
~Usborne Playtime - I can crayon - Page 22-23 How to draw a caterpillar; Page 30-31 How to make an embossed butterfly
~Usborne Activities - Sparkly things to make and do - Page 12-13 Spangly butterflies
~Usborne Farmyard Tales - Things to make and do - Page 12-13 Leaf print butterflies
~Usborne Activities - Things to make and do with paper - Page 26-27 Tissue paper butterflies
~Intricate Butterflies - 45 beautiful designs to color! - Chuck Abraham

Story books/Early childhood:
~The very hungry caterpillar - Eric Carle
~Are you a butterfly? - Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries
~Butterflies in the garden - Carol Lerner (nonfiction and beautifully illustrated)
~Where Butterflies Grow - Joanne Ryder
~A Blue Butterfly - A story about Claude Monet - Bijou Le Tord (beautiful watercolour illustrations)
~Butterflies for Kiri - Cathryn Falwell (about Origami)
~Butterfly Butterfly - A book of colors - Petr Horacek
~Waiting for wings - Lois Ehlert
~10 little caterpillars - Bill Martin Jr and Lois Ehlert

~Butterfly Meadow series - Olivia Moss
~The butterfly alphabet - Kjell B. Sandved (Photographs of butterfly wings and poetry)
~Sarah and the magic science project - Hazel Hutchins

Butterflies - planning ideas

Important dates and celebrations:
Autumn and Spring - Monarch butterfly migrates

Possible times to use this topic:  Spring, Summer, Autumn

Extensions of this theme:  Life cycles (science), eggs (science), caterpillars (science), colour (art), patterns (art, early math), change (social development)

Decorations:  silk butterflies/flowers/greenery, window clings, arts and crafts made during theme

Common items to use:  dishes in the shape of or with butterflies on them (plastic or china), themed handle spreaders, butterfly printed napkins, fold a cloth napkin into a butterfly ,butterfly bedding and accessories

Foods:  fruits and juices, use a straw to drink like a butterfly, butterfly shaped cookie cutter for sandwiches, veggies or cookie 

Clothing:  silk butterfly wings, clothing with butterflies or caterpillars on them, tattoos

- the butterfly jig - you tube
- the butterfly colors song - you tube
- butterfly fly away - miley and billy ray cyrus
- dog and butterfly - heart
- scores from Madame Butterfly opera 

Eyewitness DVD's - Butterfly and Moth
Entertainment:  Eric Carle The very hungry caterpillar and other stories

Outings:  visit a Butterfly House, visit a garden or park to look for eggs/caterpillars/butterflies

Supplies to keep available:  butterfly or caterpillar pencils, erasers, notepads, rubber stamps and ink pads, stickers, temporary tattoos, bookmarks, circles of paper for making caterpillars, glue, scissors, tape

Butterflies - learning and play


- coin caterpillars

- the butterfly alphabet
the butterfly life cycle made with pasta
- butterfly life cycle 
- purchase chrysalises or cocoons to watch them emerge
- look at butterfly wings under a microscope
- parts of a butterfly
- parts of a caterpillar
- learn the differences between moths and butterflies
- use field guides to identify butterflies that you see in your yard
- "Tracking Seasonal Change" with Journey North
- order butterfly supplies http://www.butterfliesetc.com/

- follow the migration path of the Monarch butterfly

Active Play: 
- crawl like a caterpillar race

Imaginative Play: 
- silk butterfly wings to flutter about
- playing out the life cycle (ie:  wrapping up in a blanket for chrysalis stage)

Arts and Crafts:
-knit caterpillar and butterfly toys

-the very hungry caterpillar puppet

-butterfly cross stitch pattern

-knit caterpillar and butterfly toys
-the very hungry caterpillar puppet

Activity/colouring sheets:
Dover Little Activity Books:
Little Butterflies Stained Glass Coloring Book

Butterfly coloring sheets and mandalas:

ABCTeach Printables:

Realistic drawn butterflies: (in Portuguese)

Games and toys: puzzles, Eric Carle's The very hungry caterpillar board game, Eric Carle's The very hungry caterpillar card game

Pinterest Galleries:

Links to blog posts:
Topic:  planning a butterfly theme

Topic:  making a butterfly feeder

Topic:  making a balancing butterfly

Topic:  The very hungry caterpillar Birthday party

Topic:  Sweet Butterfly Birthday party

Internet sites - Reference & printable materials:
Eric Carle -

Internet sites - Kid friendly:
National Geographic Explorer Classroom Magazine