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From Caterpillar To Butterfly


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I saw the great fun some of your children have had hatching the chicks and ducklings and thought i would share our news too, we have been housing some caterpillars bought from insectlore. They arrived in a clear plastic tub with a sweet sticky resdidue in the bottom and 5 caterpillars milling around!

 

We introduced them to the children and spent the last 2 weeks watching them grow bigger and bigger, and eating up the food in the bottom of the tub, alas awaiting them to crawl to the top of the tub attatch themselves to the round of paper and begin to chryslalise! Yay they have started, yesterday they hung themselves from the paper and began the amazing process.

 

It is a truly wonderful and interesting sight! the cocoons shake violently but im assured that this is normal! It warns of preditors! So now we await for the transformation to be complete and some wonderful butterflies to emerge. We will be transferring them tomorrow into the net garden supplied and look forward to releasing them into our pre school garden.

 

The children have loved seeing the changes each day and now excitedly await!

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Thanks - you have just reminded me to do my order for caterpillars tonight.

 

It is the most magical experience!

 

When we have released the butterflies in the past, the children have put their hands into the net garden and lifted them out. They have stayed on the children's hands for a few minutes and then flown off but only a few feet away. They stayed on the lawn or plant nearby for the children to see for ages. It was fantastic and we will do it again for sure this year.

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sounds fantastic.

i really want to do the same in my setting but have an obstacle as some staff feel it is cruel to keep living things locked up. ggggrrrr....

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I can understand where they are coming from, i myslef would not have any animal or wildlife into preschool if i thought that we were being cruel or the animal was under any unneccessary stress. But at the same time it is really important to allow children to experience these wonderful things. When would they ever get to see somthing like that happening in their back gardens???

 

We have had an array of animals in over the year, and the children thrive from it, the experiences really get them thinking and exploring and participating in learning experiences they have never been able to access before.

 

I think our caterpillars have enjoyed their time in our warm preschool room, with no disturbances from preditors! well maybe a few children tapping on the plastic! ha ha!

 

It would be great to really get your staff on board, i know this can be difficult (believe me!) Sometimes you have to take a stand, and offer the learning experience up to your staff also so they can see how great it would be for the children. When my staff are unsure i tend to 'spring' ideas on them and have the resources and materials ready so they have to get stuck in and more often than not they love it!!

 

good luck with encouraging them to get involved.

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Ours arrived today. Always manage to time it badly so they turn into butterflies in half term so hoping it might be ok this year - they always seem to stay in cocoons longer than we expect...

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Hi Jeanine,

 

I agree with you and hfn that we should be careful about the welfare of the creatures we bring into the setting. I can't make a judgement about the quality of life for the caterpillars but the butterflies are released on the day they come out of the chrysalis unless bad weather causes us to put it off (for the sake of the butterflies, not the humans).

 

The children get so much out of this experience that I would strongly recommend giving it a go.

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We are doing this at the moment. The caterpillars arrived on Saturday and I had to wait over the long weekend before bringing them into school. My daughter was most upset as she had taken on the "looking after" of the caterpillars before I had to take them, so I have promised that when they have turned into butterflies and we have released them, I will lend her teacher the net, order some more caterpillars and let them do it at her school obviously if her teacher is willing!

 

It really is worth doing if you can convince your colleagues to let you. The language and understanding that is coming from the children is truly amazing.

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We are doing this at the moment. The caterpillars arrived on Saturday and I had to wait over the long weekend before bringing them into school. My daughter was most upset as she had taken on the "looking after" of the caterpillars before I had to take them, so I have promised that when they have turned into butterflies and we have released them, I will lend her teacher the net, order some more caterpillars and let them do it at her school obviously if her teacher is willing!

 

It really is worth doing if you can convince your colleagues to let you. The language and understanding that is coming from the children is truly amazing.

 

Oh this sounds so exciting and or topic next term is on mini beasts. Where do I order these from...any ideas?

Thanks

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Oh this sounds so exciting and or topic next term is on mini beasts. Where do I order these from...any ideas?

Thanks

 

If you type Insect Lore Europe into Google, it should bring up the site. I ordered mine on the Saturday but reading the small print, discovered that they send the kits out on a Friday. However, mine arrived the following Saturday so was pretty quick.

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sounds fantastic.

i really want to do the same in my setting but have an obstacle as some staff feel it is cruel to keep living things locked up. ggggrrrr....

 

Surely you're just watching them grow... and then releasing them? Which is a 'life cycle' observation/exploration activity...it's not about keeping them locked up to be cruel!

In my opinion, My class have learnt so much more from watching them grow and change (we have chrysalises at the moment) and have engaged far more in this topic now than when you show them a little video clip, read the hungry caterpillar and then sequence the life cycle. Even the most 'boyish' of my boys check out the butterfly house everyday to see how they're going.

 

anyway... wow...I've gone on about that a lot! Sorry!

Just try convincing them on the educational aspect!

Sam x

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I can spare you about a million from my garden :o

 

Really good idea, will be going out with a pot when the cabbage white ones arrive to decimate my crops. Do you know what the sticky residue is made from?

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Try here as well as I believe these are fairly ethically sourced.

 

http://www.greengardener.co.uk/

 

It is a difficult one over keeping animals in classrooms, but as long as they are well-cared for and go to a good home, or are set free where they can survive, then I think that the benefit to the children outweighs everything else. There is an awful lot of cruelty to animals, and if we teach children respect for life early on then hopefully something will rub off on them for the future. Last week a swan on the lake near my home was kicked to death by two teenage boys. She was sitting on her eggs. :o I can't imagine how anyone can do that can you? Perhaps your staff could look at it from the point of view of preventing children growing up without learning care and respect for living things, and for some even developing a long term interest in animals. Watching chicks emerge or caterpillars change into butterflies is awe-inspiring for the children.

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we use green gardener for same reason as Jacquie mentioned...

 

they were very good an things arrived on time, our first set we just gave them a day for them to arrive and they did..

when re ordering we had to give a week fro them to arrive but could be ordered well in advance so as we did not forget..

we often ordered to arrive after the next break so we made sure there was plenty of time for them to develop and be released in good weather..

 

Inge

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Try here as well as I believe these are fairly ethically sourced.

 

http://www.greengardener.co.uk/

 

It is a difficult one over keeping animals in classrooms, but as long as they are well-cared for and go to a good home, or are set free where they can survive, then I think that the benefit to the children outweighs everything else. There is an awful lot of cruelty to animals, and if we teach children respect for life early on then hopefully something will rub off on them for the future. Last week a swan on the lake near my home was kicked to death by two teenage boys. She was sitting on her eggs. xD I can't imagine how anyone can do that can you? Perhaps your staff could look at it from the point of view of preventing children growing up without learning care and respect for living things, and for some even developing a long term interest in animals. Watching chicks emerge or caterpillars change into butterflies is awe-inspiring for the children.

 

That is just awful Jacquie! :o I feel terrible if I accidentally kill a spider - I can't imagine actually setting out to kill something in such a cruel way. :( So many children do not have a good example set for them at home, and so it becomes even more important to try to get across to them the wonder of new life and how precious it is. Keeping caterpillars in this way is not really the same as caging up mammals, for instance. Providing you are meeting their needs by giving them the right food and keeping the conditions right for them there is no cruelty involved. We did this at playgroup a couple of years ago, and it was absolutely magical to watch the butterflies emerging! The awful thing was that the summer was atrocious and we hung on for a couple of days but had to free them in appalling weather conditions - the only non rainy day for weeks. :(

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I can spare you about a million from my garden :o

 

Really good idea, will be going out with a pot when the cabbage white ones arrive to decimate my crops. Do you know what the sticky residue is made from?

 

 

suzie i have no idea what makes up the residue!!!It smells really sickly sweet! and is very sticky too, maybe a mixture of sugar, and some kind of plant extract! im not sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We have also been watching our caterpillars grow and the children have been checking every day to see what has changed. We have been waiting and hoping to watch the butterflies emerge from the chrysalis but came in to school this morning to find five Butterflies sitting in the butterfly garden! It was a shame that we didn't get to watch them come out but the children were really excited anyway.

 

We all gathered to watch the butterflies as they were released but I think it was a bit cold outside today as they refused to leave (we kept the cage open all afternoon)! We will try again in the morning lol.

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suzie i have no idea what makes up the residue!!!It smells really sickly sweet! and is very sticky too, maybe a mixture of sugar, and some kind of plant extract! im not sure.

 

 

Er, sticky residue is piddle I believe

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Er, sticky residue is piddle I believe

 

That made me giggle. I would be very impressed if a few tiny caterpillars could piddle that much. When we get them the sticky residue is green and about a centimeter thick. It seems to be some sort of food but I have never been brave enough to touch it or get close enough to smell it. If I am lucky there is a picture below so you can see what I mean......

 

post-15046-1242686283_thumb.png

Edited by AlisonP
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...we are waiting too.

 

Our caterpillars arrived just after the easter hols and they were tiny!! The children loved watching them grow and now we have cocoons in a butterfly net/house which I just know are going to open during half term!

 

However the children love looking at them and remind each other to be quiet as 'the butterflies are sleeping'

 

A great learning experience I think

 

Rachel

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Hi,

We ordered worm eggs and stick insect eggs for my Reception class and just a week after arriving the worms have started to hatch. It has been so exciting and the children have had great discussions about how precious the worm eggs were and how everyone must look after them!!! As it's half term from today we now have a wormery and a stick insect net in my dining room much to the delight or not!! of my husband.

My overiding thought is how fantastic this has been and how I as an adult have never seen worms hatching but now my Reception class and myself have and it was amazing. I did make the point of telling all the parents when the worms arrived as didn't want them all rushing to the chemists when the children all went home and said "We have worms in our class". Just hope the stick insects don't all hatch in the next week as would like children to be able to see them but have also promised that I will take photos as soon as anything does happen.

 

What a great learning experience for us all and so much talking and interest has come from this.

 

Nicky Sussex :oxD

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we broke up from school on Friday... and on Friday our's hatched! we had 4 butterflies by the end of the day.. and I can truely say it was one of the most exciting days ever! only frustrating thing was that we had bought the butterfly bungalow from Insect Lore.. and the aim was that the children could spend a session taking it in turns to sit in the bungalow with the butterflies flying around.. but that just did not happen. They hatched in the morning and still by the end of the day their wings were drying out and they were not moving much.. and because we were then going to be off for the half term week - I had to let them go! but I agree.. it was simply the best way ever of looking at lifecycles.

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Our's hatched and were released last week, unfortunately for me I have been off with a gallbladder infection and missed the release xD

 

Ive been told the children loved watching them and lots of photos were taken, so i look forward to seeing them when i return after half term.

 

I will definately do this again :o

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  • 8 months later...
Guest MaryEMac

We have been doing this for the last 5/6 years and usually order the caterpillars to arrive after the summer half term. They are usually ready to release by the end of June. The children love this activity and always make sure their parents come and have a look at how they have grown. One year the rec teacher found out what we were doing and her class visited on the day that the butterflies hatched. The butterflies invariably hatch over a weekend when the building is quiet and it is great to see the children's faces when they see the butterflies. We release them into our garden once their wings have dried. It is a wonderful learning experience for the children.

 

Mary

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