This is an opportunity for children to learn how to care for a living creature - with feeding, watering host plants and to observe the development of each living being.
Chloe and Adele on an egg hunt
The caterpillars grow at a rapid rate and voraciously strip the swan plant of leaves. With magnifying glasses and the naked eye children are able to observe this.
Cameo returns most days to check on the progress of the caterpillars
Ellie joins in too
The learning is valuable ....
an egg hatches into a teeny, tiny caterpillar which eats it's egg case then begins to devour the plant....
As we await the life cycle process the learning is weaved into Kindergarten life
Lila and Erin create a still life painting
Ellie and Jaihe have a good understanding of the Monarch life cycle and produce some detailed pictures
Darcy completes a spider puzzle
One of the caterpillars does several laps of the pot rim
before finally spinning his web pad so he can hang
It takes most of the day for him to change into a chrysalis. Sadly, the children had gone home when he moved to the next stage
but what excitement when they discovered the new chrysalis the next morning!
The activities continue as we bide our time waiting for the emerging of the butterfly. It turns black, then transparent and we know it is not far off.
At last, our first chrysalis hatches today!
Now to warm it's wings and set it free.....
While we waited we had lots of discussion and observing....the butterfly had no small black dot on it's wing so it was decided it was a girl and after much talk she was named "Autumn".
We chatted about her antennae having rounded knobs on the end and that they are her 'nose', also her feet have taste organs so when she lands on a flower and knows if it is good to eat.
As this chatter went on the butterfly eventually took to the air and after a couple of metres landed on the yellow monkey bars....
...the children quickly followed her.
After a minute or so she took off again...
.....Resting on the sandpit shade cover
This was so exciting, now we have to wait for the next chrysalis....hope it isn't too long!
Documented by Karen.