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Butterfly Children book open laying on playsilks with a rainbow and felt butterflies.

The Butterfly Children - Summer Book Club

Welcome to the Third Week of Summer Book Club!

For the 3rd week of Book Club, we follow the flight of the butterfly children in another classic Waldorf tale, The Story of the Butterfly Children by Sibylle von Olfers. Follow along with the delightful butterfly children, who start out as chrysalids (also known as 'kinderpillars'), as they dance, sing, and play all day long in the far away kingdom of beautiful gardens.

From drinking plant juice out of bottles to napping in silky hammocks, there are endless captivating details in this sweet tale. On the first day of spring, the chrysalids can't wait to get their wings, but first they must learn about all of the colorful flowers in the kingdom, "and if you listen carefully they will tell you all about it." 

Butterfly Children Book with felt butterflies, playsilks, and a wooden rainbow.

Day One: Read & Discuss

On the first day of the book club, read the book together with your children. Take your time reading and encourage them to look closely at the illustrations and immerse themselves in the story. Talk about the flight of butterflies and the metamorphosis that they go through.

After reading, discuss the story together. Ask your children if they have any questions, what they found interesting, things they relate to, and encourage them to share anything that caught their attention. Taking time to discuss and explore the story allows the reading to sink in more deeply and helps them remember more details.

We've created some discussion topics and questions you can explore for a starting point:

1.Would you like to be a 'kinderpillar' and drink plant juice and nap in silk hammocks? Does it sound like your preschool or kindergarten?

2. Madame Dragonfly's Dancing School looks like a fun place to learn how to dance. What kind of dances do you think these chrysalids do before they fly? If you feel inspired, dance like a butterfly child! 

3.The author mentions that the chrysalids get up to all kinds of mischief. What kinds of mischief can you imagine chrysalids get into? 

4. If you were getting your wings, what would they look like? Is there a certain butterfly you'd want to be if you could be a butterfly?

Butterfly Children Book open on the ground with playsilks, felt butterflies and a rainbow.

Day Two: Drawing & Writing Prompt

The second day of book club is all about revisiting the story and re-seeing it using a creative lens. We've shared a few ideas for drawing and writing prompts extend the story and allow your children to dive more deeply into the themes.

A great way for children to retell the story is through play. They can even create a small theater with a playsilk curtain to perform their story narration. If they are excited to write and draw, set up a space for them with pencils, crayons and paper all easily accessible and add the book to the space for them to look through for ideas.

Here is our writing and drawing prompt for The Story of the Butterfly Children:

Imagine you are a butterfly child. What is your day like in the butterfly nursery? You can make a schedule of what the day is like. Then draw a picture of your butterfly wings.

Open Butterfly Children book with playsilks and felt butterflies.

Day Three: Craft Your Own Butterfly Wings

After reading a book so filled with winged creatures, it's time to make your own wings to let imaginations truly take flight! These cardboard wings allow your children to design their own butterfly wings and can be used for dress up play or even decoration. 

Gather Your Supplies

Gather cardboard, scissors, and assorted craft supplies to make this butterfly costume
  • 1-2 Large cardboard boxes
  • Utility knife and scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Assorted art supplies- paint, colorful paper, markers, etc.
  • Ribbon or cord

Craft Your Wings

Start by measuring the length from your child's shoulders to their lower back. Using this measurement to determine the size of your wings, map out 1 butterfly wing. Add some extra space where you will attach it to the butterfly body. Use your utility knife to cut out the first wing, then use it to outline a mirror image for wing number 2. Cut out your second wing.

Using the same measurement as before, draw an elongated oval for the butterfly body and cut it out. At this point you can either leave the cardboard as is or paint it. Since our boxes had writing on them we chose to paint them white.

Now the fun begins! Decorate each wing with any art supplies you'd like. We used popsicle sticks, leftover paint from a recent project, extra pieces of cardboard, tissue paper, and more!

unch two holes, about 5 inches apart, on each side of the body. They do not need to be very big. String your ribbon through the holes and tie a bow on each end, creating a strap for your child to slide their arm into. Repeat on the other side.

Lay your wings face down and use heavy duty duct tape to secure them together. Once secure, use a hot glue gun and liberally apply glue to attach each wing to the underside of the butterfly body.

A child wearing homemade cardboard buttefly wings.

Now you have a one of a kind butterfly costume! Wear it on your next nature walk, or put on a play for the neighborhood kids all about butterflies. We hope you've enjoyed this weeks exploration of The Story of the Butterfly Children, and all the projects that came with it. See you next week!


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