Monday, 16 May 2011

Creepy Crawlies

I have to admit, one of the things I love most about having wee ones is the opportunity to step back in time in a sense, and relive my own childhood. Their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning is truly infectious! Inspired by my two budding scientists, I recently initiated a nature/animal study that I was certain would be a hit. I purchased a painted lady butterfly larvae kit from Boreal a few weeks ago. I was so happy for find a Canadian supplier for live specimens. (I just ordered the larvae and food and picked up the containers at a local pet shop) The mail man knocked on my door and handed over a package containing approximately 80 tiny little caterpillars. Although I only purchased 30, they obviously sent along afew extras in case of death! I split up the kit in order to share the experience with as many as possible. Chi-Chi's primary class, Muffy's preschool class, my sister's family and my nephew's primary class are all caring for and studying the caterpillars as they undergo the metamorphosis to butterflies! With Chi-Chi being in French Immersion, we are also learning the French vocabulary associated with the project.

On first glance, I was skeptical the project would be a success. The larvae were no bigger than a tiny ant when they arrived. Wow! These little guys are big eaters and have been growing steadily each day. Muffy comes down each morning and exclaims how much they grew overnight. They are certainly developing into some big, juicy caterpillars so I'm expecting they will soon start forming into chrysalises.

Like all little boys, Chi-Chi and Muffy have caught caterpillars in the past. After a short observation, we've always released them since we were never able to determine what proper food to provide. This will be a wonderful opportunity to view the entire process in an up-close and personal manner. Once we observe the adult butterflies for a few days, we will be releasing them into nature.

Well, at least our little caterpillars make us feel like SOMETHING around here is growing! My garden, which now resembles a pond after all this rain, certainly isn't! Let's hope for some sun soon!


Sarah and Jack said...

We are doing this right now and are waiting on our chrysalids to open. It is quite exciting!

The Wool Fairy said...

It is so much fun! We kept our butterflies for awhile and they ended up laying eggs, which hatched and formed pupas.....and then the new butterflies laid eggs...etc. We are on the third generation!!