The caterpillars arrived in their plastic jar and began waking up that day. They started eating the food in the bottom of the jar and set off to grow and grow and grow!
After a few days, several made the girdle and attached themselves to the paper at the top. The children were able to see how they quickly turned into a chrysalis.
Unfortunately one fell off and was in the bottom of the jar. We gently picked him/her up and placed in the bottom of the habitat. The children were really interested to see how the others stayed attached to the paper when taken out of the jar. Many children asked me to be careful!
We then pinned the paper inside of the habitat. Since you never know exactly how long the process will take, we made sure to leave sugar water sprinkled on some flowers at the bottom before leaving for the weekend. The children will be quite excited to see butterflies next week. Hopefully they will take the weekend off and decide to emerge during the school day!
This week we began studying butterflies. We ordered caterpillars and watched them munch away at their special food. We offered a painting work to show that butterfly wings are (mostly) symmetrical. The child paints one side, lightly pushes it down with their hand and unfolds.
Voila, a mostly symmetrical butterfly!
We then offered a life cycle work. The child glues various pasta and leaves on the plate to show the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly phases.
Spring has sprung and the flowers (and everything else it seems) has bloomed!
We study plants and flowers at this time of the year as the children are witnessing this change of season on a daily basis. We have been planting seeds, beans and potting flowers (Happy Mother’s Day) for our special Mothers! It was time to take a closer look at a flower and see all of the various parts.
We call this work a flower dissection.
We take a tulip and very carefully cut the specific pieces off and place them on a black card so they are visible. We name each part and have the children match the parts of a flower cards to the actual flower pieces.
We gave a small group lesson on this work and the children were then allowed to complete this independently. They were also able to complete their own parts of a flower book to take home.
We have been learning about plants and the children have been able to grow wheat grass, sprout a seed and are now planting a bean.
The work is set up on a tray. The children chose their name marker and put it in a small cup. Fill the cup with dirt using a tiny scoop.
They then pick out a bean and push it into the dirt.
Lastly, they fill up the tiny pitcher with water and pour it on the dirt.
Dr. Montessori felt that gardening was very important and rewarding for children.
They learn how to care for a living thing and also see a life cycle in action!
Since we have worked with may circuits, we decided to introduce Snap Circuits to the afternoon children. Some children are able to read the directions on their own and snap on the pieces to make the circuit complete. The best is when it does not work and they have to figure out why!
This is a great activity that demonstrates the idea of circuits. The children can make a light bulb turn on, play happy birthday and sound a siren amongst other things.
This activity can be bought at many toy stores. One child said, “It says age 8! We are five and we can do this!!”
This past week we explored color mixing. We first use the pipettes to place drops of the colored water (red, blue and yellow) onto the template.
Once the colors are on the dots, gently stir with a toothpick to blend the colors together.
Place a paper towel over the top. This must be done with care! (and make sure the child writes their name on the towel.)
Pick up the paper towel and see the amazing color wheel!
How to make light without a battery! A while ago we used batteries to show how a circuit works. The children all enjoyed interacting with the circuits. We decided to show them how to use a hand crank (Thank you Harry!) to make this circuit board light up!
Turn the crank!
Last week we put out the water pump for the children to use. The first step was to put on a waterproof art smock! This can be a very wet work! Filling up the basin takes multiple trips to the sink. Then, put the pump in and see how the water fills up and comes out the spout!
The children seem quite satisfied when the water comes out. They enjoy watching it fill up the space in the pump and it usually takes a minute to come out of the spout.
Last week we worked with gears! It was so fun. Many different arrangements can be made.
The children had a lot of fun experimenting with all of the combinations of gears.
We experimented with mirrors last week. The children use a mirror to make longer worms, full moons, many boats etc. I had this book as a child and found it in a used thrift shop. I was thrilled to see it again.