Week at a Glance:
- Books for Kids GIVEAWAY: The Seeds of the Milkweed
- Written & Illustrated by The Second Grade Students of East End Elementary
- DIY Backyard Butterfly House made with Window Screens
- Butterfly Garden Plants
- Monarch Butterflies
- Gardening with Children
Books for Kids GIVEAWAY: The Seeds of the Milkweed
Written & Illustrated by The Second Grade Students of East End Elementary
Why we love this book:
My children have been fascinated with butterflies for quite a few years now. They are especially interested in monarch butterflies and their migration through the Texas Hill Country and the South Texas Central area where we live. We have read books on monarchs, watched documentaries on monarchs, attended lectures on monarchs and have even planted our very own monarch butterfly garden. With all of this in mind, I was very excited to find a book about monarch butterflies and the milkweed plant written and illustrated by second grade students. It is a delightful science book written in a similar pattern to This is the House That Jack Built.
Unfortunately, I found this book at a Scholastic Book Fair and have not found it available new online. So if you are the winner of this cute science book written for children by children, you will have snagged a hard to find collectable! Come back over the next few weeks for more activities and chances to win.
DIY Backyard Butterfly House
Yes, We Easily Built This in a Day
Meet MacGyver our Little Nature Guy!
This week, I am highlighting MacGyver’s very own backyard butterfly house. But before I share the step-by-step directions, there are two things you need to know about MacGyver’s personality. First, he loves all things creepy-crawly nature oriented. Anyone who knows MacGyver, knows this! He is a little creepy-crawly walking encyclopedia and what he doesn’t know he
makes up hypotheses. Second, he has a very obsessive personality. This aspect of his personality is quite exhausting for his mother and yet his father and I often indulge him. We indulge him because his interests have pushed him to become a motivated, independent learner.
Creepy-crawly Nature Lover / Obsessive Personality = Butterfly House
For years, MacGyver has relentlessly bugged us to build an enclosed, walk-in butterfly house. A couple of years ago, we helped him create a Backyard Science Center. That kept him quite occupied and almost content. However, he went on and on with his need for a butterfly house. He researched, he drew designs, he even got Grandpa in on the building designs. (Grandpa is a retired engineer and home designer.) We knew it was time to once again indulge his growing interest.
Step 1: Pick a Space – Things we Considered
- Will the garden get enough sunlight?
- Will we be able to water the plants easily?
- Where does Mommy think it will look nice? (Very important!)
Step 2: Plan a Design
- MacGyver, Daddy and even Grandpa brainstormed many butterfly house designs.
- Then we replaced all of the old wood windows in our 1950’s home and Mommy hit upon the jackpot idea!
- When we replaced the old windows we saved all of the old wood framed screens.
- First, MacGyver and Daddy played around with design ideas on paper.
- Building day, MacGyver an Daddy layed out the screens in their planned design.
Step 3: Build a Base
- Mommy had the idea of using our basic square foot garden as a foundation for the butterfly house and garden.
- That Mommy she has some good ideas.
Step 4: Add the Walls
- We connected two screens to create each wall of the butterfly house.
Step 5: Add the Door
- First,they built a frame for the front of the house and the door.
- We used a screen for the door and put it on a hinge.
Step 6: Put on the Roof
- We did not buy any extra screens.
- We simply made what we had work! Hence the unique roof design.
- We used the screen material you can buy on the roll, to enclose the triangle ends of the roof.
Step 7: Add a Square Foot Garden Frames
- We used our basic square foot garden design, leaving a grassy walk area.
- We also added a square foot garden to the back of the butterfly house so we could plant a butterfly garden to attract butterflies.
- I keep saying WE, I really mean MacGyver and Daddy.
Step 8: Plant Butterfly Garden
- MacGyver researched both nectar plants and host plants.
- Next week, I will share some of the recommended nectar and host plants.
- We will also take a closer look at monarchs, their migration and milkweed.
Step 9: Admire Your Backyard Work of Art!
- MacGyver and Daddy were quite impressed with their work!
- I don’t know where MacGyver gets his obsessive personality (umm, no comment) but I do know Daddy indulges our many DIY projects!
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
Step 10: Collect, Add and Observe Caterpillars
- This is the first caterpillar MacGyver added to his butterfly house and he took it from the caterpillar stage to the butterfly stage.
- MacGyver collects caterpillars from our yard, hikes, friends and family.
- We actually have people save caterpillars for him.
- He adds the caterpillars and observes them during their metamorphosis.
- After the butterflies emerge from their chrysalis, MacGyver releases them back into nature.
You might also like: Monarch Butterfly Resources and Art for Children
We’re GIVING AWAY one copy of The Seeds of the Milkweed
To enter this contest, use the Rafflecopter to answer the following question. After you leave a comment, you can move ahead with more entries. Answer the following question in the comments section of this post. Do you have butterflies or snow in your yard this time of year? (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.) The Rules: No entries after 11:59 pm Central Time, Sunday, April 5, 2015 The winner must be a resident of The United States. The winner will be selected at random and announced Monday, April 6, 2015. Check back to claim your prize. It might be you!
Enter GIVEAWAY Again at post: Planting a Butterfly Garden with Kids
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