Providing my children with homemade learning materials for the purpose of complementing off the shelf learning materials has always been my personal aspiration. As a parent in Singapore, I, like many others, am always thankful and feel blessed that there is a wide spectrum of such good quality materials readily available in numerous major bookstores. As such, for some time now, I found myself drifting towards my comfort zone of relying on these off the shelf learning materials that I have found it a challenge to come up with engaging and interesting learning materials for my older daughter; who turns six years old this year.
My ‘aha moment’ came when a couple of weeks back, she came home with a list of enrichment classes that her school had provided for optional enrolment. In that list was a class for the Science subject. Reading through the words of the captivating write-up of the class, my initial thought was to have her enrolled in it. My husband and I baulked when we saw the additional fees required to have her enrolled in the enrichment class and I thought to myself that perhaps I could work something out and prepare some learning materials together with her. In doing so, I can on one hand save the money for other use and on the other hand, to shake myself out of my comfort zone!
A topic was needed to kick-start this project and I decided on the topic ‘The Lifecycle of a butterfly’. My daughter was thrilled when I shared my plans of the topic with her. We headed down to the library and we each chose a book related to the topic. We both spent some time reading the books together and when done, we got down to ‘business’.
I took out a puzzle which I have had for a period of time. I made some minor enhancements by labelling the different lifecycle stages on the puzzle board. The intention of doing so is for my daughter to appreciate and have a better understanding of the different lifecycle stages with something tangible of the puzzle board as she fixes the puzzles. We went through the different lifecycle stages and as we proceeded along, we also shared pieces of information we learnt from the earlier mentioned two books.
Last but not the least, a piece of art and craft was done together!
As with most of my homemade activities, I will as much as possible tailor the activity to suit the needs of my younger daughter who just turned two. This allows her to be involved and join in the fun as well. With my younger daughter, I referenced the book “A Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. This is a familiar book to her as we had read this book together on many occasions.
Using the same puzzle as I did with my older daughter, she tried to fix the puzzle while I read out the name of each lifecycle stage to her. For her, my focus was introducing the science fact to her that a butterfly originates from a caterpillar.
I did a simple art and craft with her too
I am also glad that the girls and I had the opportunity to attend the ‘The Ant & The Grasshopper’ play recently. In the show, there was a segment in the story that mentioned about the caterpillar becoming a butterfly as the insects moved through the season. Attending this play which also touched on this aspect enabled the girls to relate to it. It has been an enjoyable journey about the Lifecycle of a butterfly.
Content Source: Mummy Jocelyn
Edited By: Preschool Resources
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of Preschool Resources.