Butterfly Drinking Game
Grampian National Nature Reserves, teaching activities
- To explain how butterflies drink nectar
- To illustrate how animals are adapted to feed on different food sources
You will need
- bottles of apple juice or water
- butterflies (hopefully!)
- small prizes
Did you know?This activity is a good way of ensuring that young children have enough to drink on a long walk.
Before the activity
Discuss butterflies with the class, do they know what they feed on and what they use to feed? Explain that butterflies feed on a sugary solution called nectar which is found at the bottom of the tubes in flowers. Explain that the butterfly drinks nectar by uncoiling its long tongue which acts like a drinking straw. Go for a butterfly walk and see if the children can creep up to see a butterfly feeding on nectar. Count the number of different butterflies that the children find.
Group the children into teams and give each team a bottle of apple juice or water. Each child is given a straw.
Set the teams up as a relay race. Each child has to run up to the bottle of juice, and take one drink of juice (using their own straw). They have to drink the 'nectar' like a butterfly - just using their straw - NO HANDS! Then they run back .
The first team to finish gets a prize
Suggested Follow up
Get the children to see that the butterfly wing patterns are symmetrical. Back in the classroom, make 'squashed' butterflies by folding a piece of sugar paper, painting half a butterfly on one side of the centre line and then squashing the two sides of the paper together. You can add more colours and squash again. When the paint is almost dry, paint on a body and antennae.
Grow flowers which are particularly attractive to butterflies in pots and containers in the school grounds. Select plants which will flower at different times of year so that the butterflies have a continuous supply of food.
Try the Butterfly Feeder activity in the school grounds section
British information about British butterflies and moths see:
Butterflies - Illustrated book from Scottish Natural Heritage part of the Naturally Scottish series
Scottish Natural Heritage also provide free leaflets about planting for wildlife and butterflies in the Garden For .... series:
- Garden for butterflies
- Garden for birds
- Garden for life
- Garden in pots and containers
- Garden for food
These are available from SNH Publications at Battleby, Redgorton,PerthPH1 3EW<, Tel 01738 444177
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