Handling Caterpillars & Butterflies

There is some controvery over handling butterflies. In our classroom our policy is consistent : young caterpillars (early instars), are handled ONLY with a soft paintbrush and older caterpillars (later instars) can be handled if hands have been washed and dried first then washed and dried again afterwards. With butterflies the hands are washed and dried first and the butterfly is given the opportunity to choose to 'walk' onto fingers by the child placing his/her fingers in front of the butterfly's legs. No handling is done of the wings or body of the adult butterfly-EVER.

Why is this policy instituted? Caterpillars are fragile creatures and young children are unaware of their own strength and could easily squish them. The use of the soft paintbrush helps to teach the children how to show respect for such small living critters and as they see the growth process, can begin to appreciate what life entails. Children also begin to gain an understanding of how gentle they need to be when dealing with caterpillars.

Note on Photos & Content

All pictures and content on MyMonarchGuide are the copyright of tdogmom/MonarchFriend. Permission is granted for personal and educational use only.

some of the adorable clip art found on this website is used with the express written permission of D.J. Inkers