Monday, May 20, 2019

Ten Magic Butterflies

Last month we got the book  Ten Magic Butterflies by Danica McKeller and I grabbed it because I know that Danica is a math teacher and I read her book "Math Doesn't Suck" years ago and was able to glean several helpful ideas for teaching middle school and was curious about how she'd approach some numerical concepts with a younger audience.

The story is rhyming (a plus in our house!) and clever and the illustrations are really pretty.  The premise is that there are 10 flowers who want to become butterflies and so throughout the book the set of 10 is turning into butterflies and the readers are introduced to the various ways to make 10...

I also loved the message at the end of the book that the flowers actually wanted to change BACK because they realized they liked being who they were.  It was a sweet book that we've read multiple times.  The kids have loved it so much we decided to do a couple of little crafts and make our own set of flowers and butterflies. 

For the butterflies we followed this tutorial and they turned out super cute.  I took a paper plate and cut it in half...

... folded that half in half...

.... and then cut a circular shape from corner to corner so that when I opened it it looked like...

... this.  I did this for each half of the paper plate and then repeated so I had enough "wings" to make our butterflies.

Then I got out our pom poms, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, watercolors and some little wooden craft spoons and let the kids start painting their wings. 

Once their wings were painted and dried we stapled them together and then they picked out their poms which we hot glued to the wooden spoon and then we hot glued that whole body to the wings (to cover up the staple).

We also wanted to make a few flowers and I found  this awesome tutorial to follow. 

We cut out four different sized flowers (they do NOT have to be anywhere close to perfect!) as well as two leaves out of the paper plates and then painted them as well using water colors.  When they were done and dry we stacked them, stapled them together in the middle, hot glued on a pom and bent the edges up a little bit to give them some dimension.

I LOVE doing art with my kids for many reasons but mainly because I love seeing their little personalities in their work.  Mason is highly creative and free-spirited about the whole thing while Luke loves having an example to follow (in this case the peonies that we had on the table).  Mason (and G) love for things to be abstract and full of color and Luke is MUCH more of a realist.

All of their projects (and yes... I made a flower, too) turned out so cute and so we decided it would be fun to string them up and make a cute summer banner with them.  All I did was tie a piece of twine onto the command hooks on my mantle and then clip the art pieces on with hair clips :)

sidenote - we were one flower short of making a set of ten... we'll probably have to remedy that this week!

Years ago I tried my hand at bow-making (it wasn't pretty) and I had all of these little claw clips in the craft closet and they worked like a charm clipping them to the twine.

I ADORE how it turned out and they are always so proud to display their work.  If you're an elementary teacher think about how AWESOME These would look stapled onto a bulletin board or as a border at the top of your white board!

Since we were talking about making sets of 10 we practiced using  this set of cards...

... which grew into me making big worksheets for the kids finding the "mystery number" to complete each equation.  (Your mom might be a math teacher if...) :) 

Griffin's was adding to make 10 and the boys were more difficult based on their skill levels.

For whatever reason doing things on big paper makes them so much more fun and I have a feeling that this sort of thing will be working it's way into our summer days as well.

Happy MONDAY and happy reading, friends!!!  I'm hoping that you found an idea or two to file away for a rainy day or summer afternoon.

PS - this post contained affiliate links... thank you so much for reading and supporting my blog!!!


  1. I really appreciate all of your book recommendations for kids and creative ideas. My son in love is also a teacher.

  2. I LOOOOOVE your creativity and honestly your simpleness. These are things that won't cost me a fortune (or a dime at all!) and my kids will love. Can't thank you enough for the ideas.

  3. Love that banner! You are such an awesome and creative mom! Happy Monday!

  4. I hAve teenagers and I want to make the butterflies and flowers! Beautiful! I love your creativity!


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