July 25, 2019

Play Tray Party | Butterfly + Moth Theme

As our current home ed topic is the lifecycle of the butterfly and moth I thought some themed play trays were in order for Lily! She loves play trays and I find they are the best way to really get her engaged in things and they always grab her attention straight away when I set up something new. This month I have been starting some more structured topics with Lily in preparation to start home educating “officially” when she is of compulsory school age (which is 5) so we have a little way off but I wanted to trial it a bit in advance because as you’ll know if you follow my blog, I home ed Eloise, who is 9 so the age gap so I’m testing out ways I can make the planning easier really, and it is never too early to learn! The EYFS is my favourite stage of home ed for sure so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in with our little Lily Bean!

Butterfly Sensory Play Tray

what you’ll need:
green silk scarf (I have a whole bunch of colours that came in a pack off eBay)
paper butterflies
a sample of fake grass
fake flowers (or real but you will have to swap them up often)

great for:
sensory play
small world play
nature studies


As we are currently learning all about butterflies I thought this would tie in wonderfully! You can get them to help identify the butterflies or match them to pictures if you want to make it a bit more challenging for older children. The different textures will make for a great sensory experience too for little hands! If you wanted to go big with this one then this is a great outdoor Summer tuff tray activity! You can use real grass and other foliage you can find in your garden (do check it’s ok for little ones to be touching first though!).

caterpillar feeding station

what you’ll need:
cardboard leaves (or real, but they’ll probably need replacing throughout the week)
caterpillar figure

great for:
nature studies
early science
fine motor skills

Cut leaf shapes out of cardboard so your little one can pop the caterpillar through each one in true “very hungry caterpillar” style! This will not only broaden their knowledge on the butterfly and moth lifecycle but also help with their fine motor skills as they position the caterpillar through each of the holes. You could even use fruits/food cut-outs instead and make it tie in with The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme.

Natural Playdough Butterfly Play Tray

what you’ll need:
playdough
a short stick (for the butterfly’s body)
various sparkles and loose parts

great for:
sensory play
naure studies
fine motor skills
early science

I used Charlotte’s recipe again for the playdough but this time I didn’t add any fancy bits because the idea of this activity is for Lily to jazz it up into a beautiful butterfly! I did include a little tub of wonderfully candy scented pink playdough from Little Munchkins to make it a bit more of a sensory experience too but I do love how the natural colour looks too, I’m finding myself gravitate to more natural colours these days, I think they just look so lovely and less “noisy”. Anyway, I digress, this activity also ties in with our butterfly and moth topic this month, this is a great way to teach the anatomy of the butterfly to younger children. Talking to them about the different parts as they make them is a great early science lesson for preschoolers!

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