Over the past couple of weeks we have been caring for, observing and learning about the life cycle of butterflies! Each morning the children have been eager to check on our small insect friends, noticing how they change day by day. We’ve been learning a few terms for the life cycle like egg, caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly, but mostly we have just been enjoying their company and respectfully observing. There is a particular level of silence and calm that comes about when we check on the caterpillars!
Some things the children noticed about the caterpillars:
“They got bigger”-AD
“Caterpillars are black”-ZP
“They aren’t moving”-LS
Over night the caterpillars made a chrysalis and the children were excited to notice the change.
We talked a bit about how all of the children have grown, changed and about how some of us might even look different than we did at the beginning of the year. We also talked about the caterpillars ability to make its own cozy home around itself, so it can be safe and grow. The children felt some connection to that and chimed in…
“I have a house, and that’s where my strawberries grow… I’m a big kid” -AD
We also took turns guessing what color the butterflies would be. The guesses ranged from purple to zebra! The wonder that these small creatures inspire in children this young who are experiencing and witnessing this transformation is real, it inspires inquiry and is more than anything connects us to the natural world around us.
Releasing the butterflies
One of the butterflies hung out on my hand for a while, so the children got to see it up close. They really wanted it to fly away! I added that this butterfly was just born, it was a baby~and that it needed a bit of time to strengthen it’s wings, to move it’s legs and adjust to the sun and flowers. The children waited with me until I finally placed it on a flower in our pollinator garden. It was a magical experience and one that I won’t soon forget <3