Most baby animals are cute, but the change from caterpillar to butterfly is kind of gross. First, the caterpillar eats nonstop, and grows really fast for about 2 weeks, weighing 200 times as much by the end of it! Then it hangs onto a tree branch and sheds its outer skin, leaving a harder skin called a “chrysalis.” Over 2 more weeks, the caterpillar’s body turns into goop and re-forms into a butterfly. Finally the butterfly crawls out and pops open its wings. A lot prettier than the goop it came from!
Wee ones: Like all insects, a butterfly has 6 legs. Is that more or fewer legs than you have?
Little kids: If the caterpillar eats for 2 weeks, how many days is that? Bonus: If that all starts on a Monday, what’s the 5th day the caterpillar pigs out?
Big kids: If you started eating nonstop on March 20th, what’s the date of your 14th day of eating? (Reminder if needed: March has 31 days.) Bonus: What if you weighed 200 times as much after that as you do now? What would you weigh? (Hint if needed: Multiplying by 200 is the same as multiplying by 2, then by 100.)
The sky’s the limit: If the whole caterpillar “metamorphosis” (growth and chrysalis) takes exactly 4 weeks, and a caterpillar partway through that has 6 times as much time left as it’s already done, how many days of metamorphosis has the little guy done?
Wee ones: The butterfly has more legs!
Little kids: 14 days. Bonus: That Friday.
Big kids: April 2. March 21 is the 2nd day, so March 31 is the 12th day, then we count forward 2 more. Bonus: Different for everyone…multiply your weight in pounds by 200.
The sky’s the limit: 4 days down, 24 days to go. Whatever part the caterpillar has lived already, it has 6 parts left of the same size, so there are 7 of those parts total…and 1/7 of 28 is 4 days.