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How to Teach about Life Cycles

Happy Spring, everyone! I'm Andrea from Right Down the Middle Blog, and I am excited to be here with you today.

Have you ever seen the face of a child when a plant begins to sprout? Or have you witnessed their curiosity while watching a caterpillar transform into a beautiful butterfly? Spring is the perfect time to teach your child about life cycles because there are so many around us that are happening all at once.

Life cycles are around us everywhere, and they serve as teachable moments whether you are a homeschool parent, a classroom teacher, or a parent taking advantage of a learning moment. There are numerous life cycles you can examine: the life cycle of a plant, a butterfly, a chicken, a ladybug, a frog, and so many more. What is so awesome about teaching about life cycles is there are so many ways to teach it and incorporate the lesson into your everyday life.

Here are several of the best ways to teach your child about life cycles.

#1: Hands-On Activities

Children love to learn using their hands. By using their hands, they are active and alert. They feel they are a vital part of the lesson when they are engaged in the learning.

One way you can easily incorporate a hands-on approach to teaching life cycles is by actually planting something with your child and watch it grow. Your lesson will be more memorable, and it is definitely time well spent together.

To grow a plant, here are some supplies you will need: potting soil or soil from the back yard, a container (the size will depend on how big the plant is expected to grow), seeds (I recommend seeds that will begin to grow within a five to ten day window), and water.

One of the seeds we planted together. 

Take a step back and let your little one take over the planting process by allowing them to follow your directions. Children of all ages can put the soil in the container, plant the seeds, and water it. Since the seeds will not grow overnight into a plant, this allows your child to observe the process over the course of about a week. It also gives your child an opportunity to water the plant every day (just a little bit) to really focus and observe the changes that will begin to take place.

We planted four different seeds to observe. 

#2: Read about It

The library is full of books with illustrations and information to capture your child's attention.

One of my favorite books to use while teaching the life cycle of a butterfly is Eric Carl's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. My daughter absolutely loved this book! The illustrations really draw the reader into the book and take the reader through metamorphosis of a butterfly.

Another favorite book, From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons, presents a simple explanation of the life cycle of a plant. In the book, the reader learns how many things around them produce seeds and the seeds transform into what we see around us everyday. There is also a plant explanation in this book.

#3: Investigate It

The internet serves as a great tool for teaching about life cycles. You can find videos on YouTube on the different life cycles that are short, informative, and entertaining for your little one. 

Depending on the age of your child, have him or her research a certain life cycle. Through actively learning new information, your child will be able to use the newfound knowledge to tell you and others about life cycles around them. 

Here is a FREEBIE for you to use with your little one. It is a mini-book where the child will Draw It, Write about It!, and Label It! 

Thank you for letting me share with you today some ways to teach your child about life cycles. 

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