Written by: Ms. Sheridan Musto, Head of Early Years
Butterflies are fascinating creatures that have captured the imagination of our Kindergarten children throughout the past term, as they inquired about Living Things. With their delicate wings and vibrant colours, they are a joy to observe in their natural habitats. A visit to the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium was a great way to finish the inquiry, and get up close and hands-on with them.
One of the key skills that the children learnt during the excursion was observation. They were encouraged to use their senses to observe the butterflies and caterpillars in their natural habitats, and looked closely at the patterns on the butterfly wings, the shape of the caterpillar's body, and the colours of both. Children also used descriptive language to describe what they saw, such as "the butterfly has orange and black stripes on its wings" and "the caterpillar has a green body with tiny black spots".
Another important learning opportunity during the excursion was the chance to observe the life cycle of the butterflies up close. This involved observing the caterpillars as they ate, looking at chrysalises as butterflies developed inside, and finally seeing the adult butterflies emerge and take flight. The garden crew had organised a special butterfly release just for our students to witness. Children made connections between the different stages of the life cycle, such as how the caterpillar's body changes as it grows and how the butterfly's wings develop in the chrysalis, linking to their previous learning experiences in the classroom.
Overall, the Kindergarten excursion to the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium was a wonderful way to teach children about the wonders of nature and the life cycle of butterflies. By incorporating activities that encourage observation and learning, children are able to foster a love of nature and a deeper understanding of the world around us.