Each year when I pick out what I will be teaching, there is no doubt that life cycles will always be on my list. Teaching children about life cycles is a perfect way to help them understand the world around them and to connect them with nature.
Before I became a teacher, I had no clue what a ladybug larva looked like. In fact, the first time I saw a ladybug larva was because one of my students pointed it out to me in our class greenhouse.
It always amazes me how using pictures and reading books about the life cycle gives the children a way to connect real life with what we are learning about. As a teacher and a parent, I always relish in the moments when my children and students become little teachers themselves.
I want to thank Brainy Kit for partnering with me to bring you this post.
Teaching Children About Life Cycles
If you have ever experienced a child who has connected with a creature, you know that they have LOTS of questions.
I spend a big chunk of time researching information on the internet and through books to help answer these incredible questions. This year we used the lesson plan guide provided by Brainy Kit, which already had lots of great facts, vocabulary words, activities, and explanations.
I love every opportunity that allows me to cut back on prep work so that I can spend more time talking and interacting with my children about what they are interested in.
Here were some of our highlights while learning about life cycles.
We talked about the life cycle of several creatures and even plants! I learned tons about a life cycle that I easily forget about: the shark.
Related Post: Fun Facts About Ladybugs
Whenever possible, I love to make a real life connection with the information we are learning. Some years we have a butterfly garden or release ladybugs into the greenhouse.
An activity that we love to do every year though is planting! We pulled out our materials from our life cycle kit to plant beans, and we were able to talk about what we were going to see with our plant life cycle chart.
We spent time discussing the life cycle of sharks, chickens, plants, turtles, butterflies, and ants. My daughter found her favorite activity right away: stickers!
The creature my children took the most interest in was learning about the frog! This Montessori frog puzzle was a huge highlight while learning about the anatomy of the frog. Montessori puzzles have been on my wishlist, so I was most excited about this.
I kept hearing “hind leg, front leg, hind leg” as they explored the puzzle.
Related Post: Fun Butterfly Facts for Kids
I was so thrilled to see an Usborne book about Tadpoles and Frogs in our life cycle kit! It gave us interesting facts, fascinating photographs, easy to understand diagrams, and it even provided detailed explanations for the many questions lingering through all of our minds.
One of our favorite facts was learning that frog eggs are also called frogspawn.
A life cycle unit would not be complete without some hands-on exploration! We pulled out the ant life cycle model and ladybug life cycle models to explore. This was by far my son’s favorite activity!
After talking about the stages of the life cycle with our life cycle charts, I put the life cycle figures in order and listened to them chant.
“Eggs, larva, pupa…ant!”
“Eggs, larva, pupa…ladybug!”
It is always so fun to explore life cycles, and this year was definitely one of the best. I plan on storing all of these materials for the next time we want to learn about life cycles, and I know it won’t be long! While we used this as a homeschool project this year, I absolutely plan to use many of these materials for my future preschool classes too!
About Brainy Kit
Brainy Kit came about when the owner, Viktoria, wanted to combine two of her passions — Montessori and affordable resources. After Viktoria opened a Montessori preschool, she had requests come in for her to expand her program. While she couldn’t open preschool upon preschool, she could provide materials that parents and teachers would be able to use. And next came Brainy Kits! It is Montessori homeschool curriculum in a box, and many materials can easily be used for the classroom too!
Brainy Kits are a subscription kit service with a new, exciting kit each month. There’s no prep required, and you will have all the materials needed to teach. It includes lesson plans, hands-on materials, and lots of wonderful ideas. There are no long-term commitments. I especially love that they e-mail you before sending a kit. Plus, there is free shipping!
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