This contest is closed.  Congratulations to our winner Melissa A.!

Butterflies are still in bloom at the Frederik Meijer Gardens

&

we have one more chance for you to win tickets to go!

A trip to the Meijer Gardens screams “teachable moment.”

Why not take advantage of the trip and include a craft, a snack, and a reading (or viewing) of The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

For the craft…

The finished butterfly.

The Finished Butterfly

 

This is a simple craft  that you don’t have to supply shop for.

What you need…

A picture of the supplies.
Everyday Supplies!
      • paint
      • water tub
      • coffee filters
      • pipe cleaners or twist ties
      • paper plate or newspaper to work on

What you do…

Step 1:  Paint the coffee filter.

Paper plates work great to soak up the extra paint!

I just have to say something about the water tub up above…genius!

I saw this in a classroom and I’m so glad I did.  I’ve always dreaded the inevitable spill of the water-glass.  To avoid it or at least slow it down, just cut a small circle through the top of one of your cheap plastic containers.  Kids can still get to the water but spills are contained.

Step 2:  Allow for dry time.

Step 3;  Fold the filter accordion style.

Step 4:  Twist a tie or pipe cleaner around the center of the folded coffee filter.

The finished craft

Ready to Flutter!

Step 5:  Fluff out the wings and shape the twist tie or pipe cleaner to look like antennae.

 

 

For the snack…

 

butterfly snack

Good enough to eat!

  • your favorite snacks
  • reclosable plastic sandwich bag
  • twist tie or pipe cleaner

What to do…

Step 1:  Fill a plastic sandwich bag 1/2 full of your favorite snacks.

Step 2:  After you’ve sealed the bag, separate the snack in half.  Divide the bag by twisting on your twist tie or pipe cleaner.

Step 3:  Shape the antennae.

 

You cannot take food into the butterfly area at Meijer Gardens, so be sure to enjoy your snack on the car ride home or at one of their picnic areas!

Would you like to win tickets to see the butterflies at Meijer Gardens?

To win this family 4 pack, simply leave a comment letting me know how you might make your trip to the gardens a teachable moment!

Contest ends March 28! One comment per person please.

 

 

This post is a part of…

M.M.M.

 

 

Comments Closed

93 Comments

  • Jill Scripps says:

    I LOVE the water bowl idea!!!
    I’m definitely doing that! My kids paint with water colors almost daily and at least once a week we have a spill!

    I think it would be fun to look at the butterflies in some of the kids books and then see if we can spot them when we go and visit the gardens!

  • Linda Najar says:

    I will use this as an opportunity to show my 6 year old daughter the wide variety of butterflies and how they change from caterpillars to butterflies :) Thanks! Love you guys!!

  • Jenny Ward says:

    My kids love science and outdoors, and last year they were fascinated by the caterpillars knowing that they would become butterflies. They would love a day at Meijer Garden to see butterflies and the gardens!

  • Sarah says:

    My daughter is 10 months old. The teachable moments would be everywhere on her first trip to the gardens, especially since she is just learning to walk.

  • Karen Rogers says:

    Perfect to take my 2 1/2 year old grandson to. He is just discovering the world of bugs.

  • Becky says:

    What a fantastic way it would be to welcome Spring by doing the above combined with a trip to see the butterflies. I have a 4 and 1 year old that are fascinated by animals.

  • Nikki LaDuke says:

    Wanting to take my son and his cousins spring break.They will love it!!

  • Melodie says:

    Within each of us
    are silent wings fluttering
    Soaring gracefully

    My idea of a teachable moment at the Gardens is to impress upon my little ones the majesty of the butterflies and natures wonders.

  • Kathy Verploegh says:

    Would like to take my Grandson who is 2 1/2. He loves all animals and it would be great for him to see all the butterflies and the gardens. Great place to learn about nature.

  • jennifer Schultz says:

    We have done both of those butterflies, but with a clothespin fir the body:) Great school treat with the butterfly!

    Aside from the wonder of the butterflies and plants, we would like to go in a couple weeks when we can spend time outdoors in the childrens gardens exploring too. Also, FMG can be a busy place, so I try to use it as a chance to teach the children manners and how to be polite and safe in a crowd.

  • Erin Hare says:

    My son just turned 9 and is VERY into insects…him and his grandma collect caterpillars every year and have hatched out well over 100 monarch butterflies over the years.He would love to see and learn more about other species.Thanks for the fun craft ideas:)

  • Maryann says:

    Just love the water container. Snack bag is cute too! We try and make all of our trips with our grandchildren not only fun but a learning opportunity. We took them to the CARE Ballet recently. Before we went, I borrowed the book from the library to familiarize them with the story. I was pleasantly surprised that it came with a music cd. We played that on the way to the show. So, at age 4 & 6, they were well prepared to enjoy the ballet. We have not taken them to Meijer Gardens but this may just be our next outing in the near future.

  • Cari says:

    My son is young so the entire trip would be a learning experience for him. It would be a whole new environment for him.

  • Thanks for the great ideas. I would love to take our boys there soon. I love watching both of them get excited about learning but especially our almost 8 year old who has battled cancer twice and is working hard to catch up in school. He’s such a fighter and so is his little brother (almost 5) who has been by his side the whole time! :-) see http://www.carepages.com/carepages/matthewrobinson for more info. Thanks!!

  • Jasmin says:

    I will use this trip for my kids to remind them of the things God made for us to enjoy and see. Also, to teach them that God is a God of details as we look at the life of a butterfly!

  • Christa Killgore says:

    Wow, I haven’t been to the Butterfly’s in a few years. I love FMG, but can’t afford to go very often and try to take advantage of the special events for groups I’m involved with. My son is only four, but his teacher did the catipillar to butterfly transformation in her classroom last year, and I think just started it again this year. I think it would be great to incorporate what he is learning in preschool with what the butterfly exhibit offers. I love the variety of species they offer, and that they show the butterflies “hatching” too. My son was so excited last year about the butterflies in their classroom I wish I could have afforded to take him. This would be awesome to win! Thank You.

  • Jill Kuiper says:

    Not only would it teach my kids about nature and the evolving process, it would help my youngest daughter with her math in counting the different butterflies. My older son could benefit by making graphs for the different butterflies with tally marks. Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Chris Stander says:

    It isn’t everyday you get to feast your eyes on the many different butterflies so right there alone just the silence and the butterflies alone would be an awesome God moment for me and my children. You can’t beat that!

  • Joy Alverson says:

    My daugther is loving the hungry catipiller and the beatiful butterfly it turns into at the end of the book. She would love to see the different stages in person of the catipillers turning into beautiful butterflies. She will also be able to see all the different colors that the butterflies can be.

  • Sarah Ponce says:

    Our almost three year old has not been to the gardens yet! He has been doing spring crafts, making caterpillars and butterflies and would love to see the real thing! Some teachable moments: butterfly differences and similarites, comparisons and contrasts, colors, learn new vocabulary, and finally seeing all his crafts ‘come to life’!

  • Julie and 5 says:

    With 5 children between the ages of 2 and 11, we will have a variety of teachable moments. For the oldest, they will be fascinated with the various growth stages of the life of the butterfly. The artists in our bunch who will love the crafts. And all of us will enjoy seeking out the various colorful butterflies, counting and tracking them. Thanks for this opportunity!

  • Nancy says:

    My grand daughter is very interested in bugs and it would be a great learning experience for her to see the life cycle of butterflies. It would also be a great memory maker for us. I would love the opportunity to take her. Thanks for the chance to win tickets not just to this but for all the chances you give us to win great prizes.

  • Melissa A says:

    Thanks for the butterfly craft. My 2 year old son and I are making the coffee filter butterfly today in honor of the first day of spring! To make a trip to FMG a teachable moment, we could count the butterflies we see, point out all the different colors and learn the word butterfly. We also can take Grandma and Grandpa with us.

  • Cate says:

    My children would love to go to meijer gardens and see, touch, smell and create something in their surroundings. They love nature and all of them are in love with butterflies!!!! We would love love tickets!!!!!!!!

  • Nikki Wyble says:

    My son is 5 and has been begging me since Christmas to go and see the butterflies. He is so interested in seeing the transformation of the caterpillars into butterflies. I can’t wait to take him just because of the amazement & smiles he gets from going :)

  • Linette Kamrad says:

    HI, I would love the chance to take my daycare kids to the gardens,we will be doing these crafts soon and would love to top it off with the butterflies..thank you

  • Donna says:

    We actually found a caterpillar this winter still out and not hibernating and so we researched it online and then built a mini habitat for it. We can not wait to move it into a butterfly tent to watch it cocoon and then blossom!! I think going to see the butterflies would be great for the kids to see what will happen to our caterpillar!

  • Christine Woods says:

    I would love to win tickets and take my kids to see the butterflies!

  • Rachelle Worth says:

    My 15 month old daughter is amazed by animals. I would love to take her to see the butterflies flying all around her!

  • Amy Venema says:

    I have a 7 year old, 4 year old and a 1 1/2 year old. The 2 oldest LOVE going to see the butterflies, before we go we always rent butterfly books from the Library and learn different names, then try to find them while we are a FMG. So I would LOVE FREE tickets!! Thanks :-)

  • alison westhouse says:

    Love the butterfly ideas! Totally saving that when my daughter gets older!

    My daughter is only 6 mths so going to the Gardens will be a new experince overall for her to see. All the colors and planets and butterflies

  • sarah says:

    Coffee filters! What a great way to do this! More durable than the tissue paper I’ve been using, that’s for sure! Tickets to the GRFMG would be an amazing treat! We are planning to go there for spring break and would helpt the budgeting tremendously!

  • Melissa says:

    We have reading the very hungry caterpillar, and it would be great way to learn more about butterflies!

  • Diane says:

    My daughter is so busy with nursing school that I would love to see her get a break and take her son to FMG. With all the activites to do at FMG, it will be a wonderful educational day for them. Thank you.

  • carman Jensen says:

    I would use the trip to teach my 6 year old that each butterfly is different yet they are each unique and different yet alike.

    My son has SPD and has been going through some tough times at school with teasing and I want him to understand how everything is the world has it’s place. That he is a lot like a butterfly, nothing can hold him back if he just spreads his wings and flys.

  • Sara Harder says:

    I would teach my 2 kids, 3 and 2, about the different colors that the butterflies have and how they start out as a caterpillar!

  • Laura says:

    Love the butterflies and the Meijer Gardens……Our kindergartner is going there Monday with her class, and is so excited! I would love to win the tickets so we can share this experience with out boys. Where do you begin to talk about the learning experiences? Obviously, the conservatory, but inside there, plant life, animal life, and of course the butterfly life cycle. Additionally, I’d love for them to see the artwork inside the main entryway (leaf/tree patterns of copper, I think). If the weather is nice, who can resist some playtime outside in the children’s area? I personally love the model of the Great Lakes! Thanks for considering us!!!!!

  • dana says:

    we havent gone yet! With 4 kids we usually go on our own adventures in the woods cause its way more cost efficent! It would be great oppurtunity and blessing for the kids to get to go to the butterfly exhibit!

  • kristi feirick says:

    My kids love to do crafts, thanks for the fun ideas! My family would love to win tickets to go see the butterflies!!!! Please pick us!!!! :)

  • Katie Thomas says:

    Making this butterfly would be a fun activity to do the day before since we will be on spring break. We live about an hour away from Meijer Gardens so I am definitely going to surprise the girls with this snack idea in the car!! They will love it! I think after we make the butterfly craft I will invite the girls over to the computer and we will look for pictures of butterflys on the internet. We can pick out several kinds of butterflys and paste pictures of them onto a piece of paper. Then we can check them off as we see them at the Gardens! I am so excited to take them and watch them light up at the sight of all the butterflys!

  • Sarah Knight says:

    I like the idea of turning the trip into a scavenger hunt to see what kinds of butterflies, flowers and other animals we discover.

  • Sheri Albrecht says:

    I have never been to the see the butterflies. It would be a great family day!

  • Kristy Gibney says:

    We have been to the butterflies several times and the kids (3 and 6) love it. We hope the weather is nice this year we when go so we can enjoy more of the beautiful Gardens. I am going to my husband print some of the color pictures of the butterflies for the kids so they can try and find them while we are there.

  • Emily Martens says:

    I love this idea. So great for the kids who didn’t have school today.

  • Corrie Almy says:

    My daughter would love to go to the butterfly exhibit!

  • Becky says:

    My kids know warmer weather means the Butterflies are Blooming. We would use the opportunity to learn about maps and guide books. A map to get to the FM Gardens. A map to navigate us around to all of the places at the Gardens, including the butterflies. And the butterfly guide to see how many different butterflies they can find. I love to see little minds at work. I have three little ones 5 and under that can’t wait to see the butterflies! I hope we win :)

  • ericka says:

    so excited to see the butterflies this year!

  • I really like the snack idea. It’s something I can do with my 2 year old.

  • Rachel Hillman says:

    We would bring cameras and then come home and draw the different butterflies we took pictures of. They would end up being posted all around the house to decorate for Spring :)

  • My 3 yr old would love it! Such a cool experience… ;)

  • Laura says:

    My 4 year old daughter just saw a cartoon with a Chrysalis in it. It would be awesome to show her a real one.

  • Carrie White says:

    I have a first grader that will be learning about the butterfly life cycle at school next month, and a trip to Meijer Gardens would be the ultimate culminating event for her learning.

  • brittney says:

    I would take my 3 and 5 year olds, my son would love to see it because they are bugs that fly and my daughter just loves them, i would love to teach them the whole process from the beginning, and also the names of the butterflies and teach them about all the different colors :) Thank you so much

  • Cindy says:

    We totally love FMG for all the events they have. I think each & every visit are memorable for our entire family!

  • Erin says:

    pick me! pick me! We really want to take our kids but it’s too expensive. Hope we win!

  • Lynn kehoe says:

    you can do this too using markers. Have children color filter with markers. Fold the filter and attach the pipe cleaner. Then mist with water from a water bottle. The colors will bleed and look really cool.

  • Suzanne says:

    Great idea for the water container! Gonna make a couple today! (One for home, one for Grandma’s house!)

    The kids have been helping carrying kitchen scraps to the compost heap, and I’d love to expand on that and show how the plant materials break down and amend the soil, which feeds the plants, which in turn feeds the butterflies & other creatures with flowers and fruit.

  • Heather says:

    I would love to take my kids to see the butterflies! We haven’t been able to go because of the cost.
    I would make this an educational trip for them by picking up the butterfly book they give you as you enter the gardens and look for all the butterflies in it! Then, I would love to go home and make butterflies with paint and hand prints! I did this with my Kindergarten class and it was really fun.

  • Becky says:

    My son would love to go! Thanks!

  • Tiffany says:

    I would like to show my children the steps a caterpiller takes to turn into a beautiful butterfly.

  • Lora Bennett says:

    Love this craft! It’ll make for a fun snack! Thanks!

  • Chad Sutliffe says:

    We would love to take our 4 year old daughter to show her the beuatiful butterflies and amazing Meijer Gardens. Our daughter has felt a little left out lately at times with the birth of a baby brother and a special day to bring our princess to visit the magical butterflies would be a great treat for all of us!

  • Corrie Force says:

    My 5yr old daughter LOVES butterflies! She will love this and I’m sure her 2yr old brother will have fun with it too.

  • Jessica says:

    My daughter is at the age where she is starting to understand and question nature around her. It is so fun to let her see real life things that she has only experienced thus far in books.

  • Dawn B. says:

    Our daughters have been asking if we can go this year. I look forward to it each year as well!

  • Anderson says:

    We love to win tickets to see the butterflies!

  • tiffany wagner says:

    I would make butterfly french toast by cutting the toast into triangles and putting the points together to make butterfly body shape. Could use a sausage or banana down the center as the body. Give them milk to drink and tell them milkweed is the only food of the monarch butterflies. Next, read Very Hungry Caterpillar then make the following beaded bracelets that show the life cycle of a butterfly: String the following beads on a pipe cleaner in this order: 1 white bead to signify the egg, one red and three green beads to show the caterpillar’s body, one clear bead to show the chrysalis and finally, one butterfly bead to show the metamorphosis!

  • Dianne Barnum says:

    My vote is for MeganRose. How sweet.

  • Anna says:

    Would love to see the butterflies! My girls really want them to land on them. Like they would ever stand still long enough, but it is worth a try.

  • Christy Spaulding says:

    a six year old, a five year old, and a one year old. I think the big kids would take over the teaching if we won tickets to see the beautiful butterflies. In fact, I know the oldest would become the chattering tour guide as she went with grammie last year and remembers it. thanks for the chance!

  • Ginny Murphy says:

    We were just thinking about heading there! I have two boys, 2 and 4. My 4 y.o loves things that fly. I am homeschooling, and have a ton of ideas things to teach while having fun!

  • Stacey VanDenHout says:

    My girls would love to visit. My three year old can find the different color butterflys and count them. We also would be learning important things, like patience and being gentle. What a great time and experience we would have. My girls would LOVE this! Hoping to go. :)

  • debbie says:

    hi
    my name is Debbie Monroe. i babysit my 2 grandchildren ages 4 and 5 1/2 each weekday. My grandson loves caterpillars and has collectd some and tried to watch how they turn into butterflies. My granddaughter loves butterfles. If i took the grandkids they could see firsthand the many catrerpillars and butterflies. It would be a good learning experience as we could show them how the butterflies fly all over and the beautiful. they could see the different colors and have a nice day with grandma and grandpa. thanks DEB

  • Stacey says:

    My daughter made both of those crafts in preschool! So cute!!! They are obviously talking about butterflies at her school right now so we are planning on heading to the Gardens over Spring Break for her to see the butterflies. We also have a fun butterfly craft to do after we get home!

  • Jessica Kroon says:

    All of the crafts are very neat ideas and I would LOVE to win the tickets to take my family to see the Butterflies at FMG. Both of my kids (ages 5 and 2) are very teachable right now. I would like to teach my 5 year old daughter about the stages the butterflies go through before they turn into beautiful butterflies, and I would like to teach my 2 year old son the different colors of butterflies and what delicate creatures they are. Frederik Meijer Gardens has endless opportunities to teach our kids and I think taking mine to see the butterflies would be a great experience for them. Not to mention that it is a wonderful thing to do as a family also teaching them the importance of family time. Please consider my family for these tickets as we would really appreciate the opportunity to teach our kids some wonderful lessons about God’s creatures. Thank You!

  • Jaci Wismar says:

    We ‘raised’ butterflies at home last year and it would be great to show my boys how it happens in nature on a larger scale. Thank you, Jaci

  • Katie says:

    I have a 6,5, and 2 year old who have never been, infact, I have never been either. I think for all of us just being able to go would be a great learning adventure.

  • McKenzie says:

    My daughter is only 11 months but I would love to bring her to see all the bright colors and smells. She also loves other kids and since she is our first, I thought it would be a good social learning experience.

  • My 2 1/2 yr old Grandson has been fascinated with butterflies for about a year. I love presenting him with learning moments and usually just stand back and let him experience the opportunity but I’m sure we would do the butterfly craft when we get home!

  • MonicaD says:

    I would use this as a teachable moment on counting and colors (my kids are 3 and 5) We like to do scavanger hunts so we’d look for “x” amount of “color” butterflies. My 5 year old just discussed bug/insects/etc in preschool so I’d let him “teach” myself and his little brother what he learned while we are surrounded by the butterflies. We also hold a contest every year to see who can get a butterfly to land on them for a super photo opportunity:)

  • Angelique Doyle says:

    I would use this as a teachable field trip for my 2-1/2 year old who loves the story “The Hungry Caterpillar”, that we have to read at least 3 times a day and for my 8 year old son who is an animal lover and future nature scientist. He loves to catch all kinds of different bugs, insects, moths, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and light up bugs (at night) to be able to take a closer look at them. He gets his nature books out and sits and explains each detail to his little brother before they head out to release their catch. He would love to take this opportunity to teach his little brother about the different butterflies he studies in his books. Thanks so much for offering this !! We haven’t been there in years and my 2-1/2 year old has never been there.

  • Stacy says:

    I would love to show my girls the butterflies and how they change from catterpillars to butterflies!

  • Heather Miller says:

    My 2 year old LOVES butterflies!! and would LOVE to go and see them!! Her older brother and sister (12 and 9) really enjoy teacher her new things. Taking them to see the butterflies would be a great way for all them to learn and teach!!!

  • Cherie Fisher says:

    My 3 kids and I would love to go see the butterflies at Meijer Gardens. I would let the kids check out a couple books from the library on caterpilers and butterflies before our trip to learn about the lifecycle of butterflies. Then we would take our camera with us on the trip to take pictures then make a scrap book of our visit. Thank you!

  • Laura Muller says:

    I just love your craft ideas, so cute and fun! My daughter is 4 and her favorite book is the “Very Hungry Caterpillar”. She is fascinated by butterflies and their growth cycle. What better way to show her, up close and personal at “Butterflies are Blooming” at Frederick Meijers Garden!

  • Sarah Grove says:

    I would love to have a “Mommy daughter date day” to see the butterflies! What a great learning ‘field trip’ this would be for my girls!

  • Maggie Hodges says:

    As a elementary teacher I’ve made the butterfly craft in the past with my students. Another variation is to color the coffee filter/wings with markers. When it’s sprayed with water the colors still blend together.

    I’d love to take my twin toddlers to the Fredrick Meijer Gardens. They are learning about the world and would enjoy seeing the butterflies first hand.

  • I would love to win tickets to bring my 3 boys, ages 7,3,1! We just orders an Osborne book about the stages of a caterpillar/butterfly. My oldest son is really into how caterpillars change into butterflies. Going to Meijer Gardens would allow him to see first hand these stages. My youngest boys just love butterflies, their colors, and movements.

  • Jane Curtis says:

    My one daughter, especially, loves butterflies. I love that Meijer Garden helps them see the progression from chrysalis to butterfly.

  • Corey Turner says:

    My 2nd grader went there last year, and learned all about the life cycle of the butterfly. She loves to share what she learns with younger sister, so going there would give her a chance to teach her 4 year old sister what she learned.

  • Tom says:

    I would love to take my children there. I have heard great things about it, although I have never been. I would like to teach my children about the different stages involved in the life cycle of a butterfly!

  • Monica says:

    I would love to teach my children about some of the wonders of nature that God has created!

  • Debbie says:

    I would love to take my grandchildren to see the butterflies and teach them about all the different species.