Sunday, January 12, 2014

Class Pet

We ordered caterpillars from Lakeshore learning. This was the best activity ever. I do not know who was more excited, me or the girls. I was worried about the delivery because they said that I would have to be home when they arrived. I wasn't. The caterpillars, after having been through the shipping process also had to sit out on my front porch in the hot humidity. When I opened the box, I was convinced that none of them had survived. They looked dead. They weren't moving, for hours and hours. I was so frustrated. Then one started moving, then another, and after a couple of days I realized that all five had somehow miraculously survived. We all loved staring at the little caterpillar cup.

After the determined amount of time, the caterpillars started climbing to the top of the cup and preparing themselves for their amazing transformation. We were all engrossed and the girls always were running over to check on the caterpillars. We named some. I don't remember all of the names. One was Catty.  

Four of the caterpillars all made chrysalises on the same day. The fifth one took two more days. It was amazing how fast this process was. One minute they looked like a caterpillar and then, they did not. It was fascinating. I checked out several books from the library about metamorphosis and we learned about many different varieties of butterfly. We also learned about the Painted Lady Butterflies specifically as we prepared to meet ours. We also have a Big Book about butterflies that included a caterpillar puppet and a butterfly puppet. We used the puppets to put on a play about the amazing transformation that happens. 

Nature is amazing! This was so fascinating to all of us. 

This is the best picture that I could get of the caterpillar in the "J" shape right before the chrysalis formed.

Per the instructions, I moved the chrysalises into the butterfly net after a few days. Then it was another ten days wait until they would be ready.

This is what her hair looks like on a regular basis.
We fed the butterflies sugar water, with a pipette, on a cotton ball . 

They must hatch quickly, because I missed the first four. I'd come into the room and be surprised that there was another butterfly out. I managed to see the fifth one soon after it had hatched. It's wings were still all shriveled and it was hanging there just drying. They hatched on a weekend, which was really sad for M. We sent her lots of pictures and she was thrilled to come and see the butterflies on Monday morning.

We loved out butterflies.
 After enjoying our butterflies for several days it was time to let them go free. The girls were so sad to see them go. They were desperately hoping that the butterflies would stay around and land on them, but they flew off pretty quickly and were gone.

We put flowers in our hair to see if the butterflies would like them.

I plan on ordering some more butterflies in the spring. This was a great learning experience.

1 comment:

Shelly said...

We did them last spring, so much fun to watch!!