On Monday, 19th of May, the children were very surprised to see caterpillars in their classroom! The children decided to call the caterpillars; Super Rosie, Freddy Teddy, Billy Crocs, Lego Robin Hood and Super Oreo Rex.
The children became very interested in caterpillars after reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' and 'Caterpillar Butterfly' They learned all about the life cycle of a butterfly and made lovely prints of butterflies. The caterpillars will stay in the jar for another week or two where they will continue to eat the food and change into a chrysalis. Already the caterpillars are starting to get quite big and we have only had them one week!
Check out the video of some of the caterpillars getting some exercise!
On Thursday, 29th of May, some of the children noticed that one of the caterpillars was hanging upside down. This means that the caterpillars are now ready to change into chrysalides.
Since Thursday, three more of the caterpillars have begun to change. They have spun a silk pad and have formed a smooth and hard chrysalis enclosure. It looks like they are resting but actually the caterpillars have liquefied and are re-arranging to become the cells, tissues and organs of a butterfly.
Next it was time to move the chrysalis to the garden. We arranged the big move on June 4th. The children have been checking the garden everyday since and are very excited about the prospect of butterflies emerging!
After all of our waiting, we finally saw some action last Friday, 13th of June. Some of the children were getting a book from the library when one of them let out a big shout and told the whole class that they could see a butterfly! All of the children were so excited and immediately left their tables to catch a glimpse! A discussion about whose butterfly had actually emerged first was had but a decision could not be agreed upon!
When the butterfly first emerged, it's wings were soft and folded. As soon as it had rested after coming out of the chrysalis, it pumped blood into it's wings in order to get them working and flapping. After afew hours, it began to fly. Here is a video of our butterfly's first flight!
After the children had finished school and gone home, I noticed more movement in the garden. Check out what I caught on video...
Today, June 19th, it was decided it was time to set our butterflies free. We all said good bye to them, searched for a good spot to set them free and opened their garden. Here are some final pictures of the butterflies:
It took some time to convince the butterflies to leave their garden and fly away...
The first one flew away without much trouble but the other two were definitely not in any hurry. Some of the children even got to hold the butterflies and tried to help them fly away. Despite all the excitement, all three butterflies did manage to survive and fly away!!!