Why teach the life cycle?
Learning about the life cycle helps children understand the world around them and the changes that occur. Everyday changes: seasons, birth, growth, death, introduction to the food chain, how things work together, and more. Teaching the life cycles of plants and different animals can also help them build a connection to nature.
3 and up (this is when they really start to make connections and can identify different stages of the life cycle)
PRINTABLE (Spring life cycle bundle) Come with life cycle of: ladybug, butterfly, duck, frog, bee, ant.
I am a BIG fan of hands-on learning as well as real life experiences to help connect the abstract and make it more real or concrete.
Ideas of how to observe the life cycle:
- You can order kits online (butterfly life cycle and ladybug life cycle) These are great because they are easy and allow your child to observe the changes day by day. This will not only give them an idea of how long it takes to go through each stage but it will also allow them to see what each stage looks like.
Butterfly Kit Ladybug Kit
- You can go on walks through the same park throughout the year and point out the changes you see. In the fall the leaves change colors and fall. In the spring new buds, flowers and leaves come out. You can walk through wetlands and try to find frog eggs in the water. If you are able to find them you can go back a few weeks later and see if you can find tadpoles. You can do this and take pictures and keep track of the changes (make sure you take pictures of the same place, tree, plant, egg, etc.) You can then use these pictures and have them create their own life cycle by lining them up in sequential order.
- You can plant a seed and talk about the life cycle of a plant.
- Go to a farm in spring and see the baby sheep, chicken eggs, etc.