Life Cycles

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By Sally Grayearly years teacher and writer

original article published 11 February 2008

Find out how different forms of life evolve with these simple life cycle activity ideas


Life cycles

Make a collection of books, posters, games and resources linked to life cycles, and set them up on an interest table for the children to explore freely. Over the course of a few days, draw their attention to different things and talk together about life cycles. Focus on one or two easy-to-understand and colourful examples of a life cycle, such as from frogspawn to frogs, seeds to flowers and caterpillars to butterflies.

Use movement and music sessions to increase the children’s understanding of how life cycles work. For example, ask the children to snuggle up in a small ball as an egg, then emerge as a wiggly caterpillar, before wrapping themselves up tightly in a cocoon, and then flying free as a beautiful butterfly. Encourage the children to show their ideas for other life cycles, such as from wiggly tadpole to hopping frog or from tiny seed to giant sunflower plant.

Suggested resources

Large clear space; gentle, classical music such as Grieg’s ‘Morning’ (Peer Gynt).

1 Learn about the life cycle of a frog

Understanding the World

The World

Early learning goal: make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur and talk abut changes.

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