Hello dear, dear Nature Learning Community,
I took a jaunt over to a new State Park today called Jarrell Cove on Harstine Island and I gotta say it was the trip I needed to ignite some State Park exploration relatively close to home. I LOVED this park, I was feeling a little fearful that Paisley was determined to have a bad time when she mentioned she hated trees upon entering the park (I'll bet she was going to a playground or the zoo...like "before the virus" as she says) but then she was quickly led by moths into meadows of daisies and being intrigued by wood shavings. At one point we ran into some bikers who were interested in her moth/butterfly carrier and he was all too ready to share about how she captured it. She also started to share about her Nature School that, when the virus was over she would be going back to every day. The lady was THRILLED to hear that Bremerton had a Nature Program for our kiddos! I felt a sense of pride while Paisley explained our Program to a stranger with passion AND relief that it is just waiting to start again!
Like the caterpillar we are all just waiting to emerge from our chrysalis to flutter about, but while in this phase we are gathering our strength and what we need to face a new world...WITH WINGS.
This week we are visiting the Animal Kingdom!
- Caterpillars are invertebrates and they are the largest group of animals compared to those with a spine.
- They have a "segmented" body, exoskeleton, and jointed appendages
- They are a type of insect which means they have three part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), 3 pairs of jointed legs, AND an exoskeleton (a nice hard exterior to keep them protected)
1- Play dough Caterpillars!
The Credit for this goes entirely to Raising Up Wild Things. I had an activity where you were going to form caterpillars with play dough but I LOVE how she uses dried flowers to add detail, and patterns for the segments of the caterpillar. You could also just use ANY nature material that you find.
If you don't play dough made, or have any, here is a recipe
Listen to a Poem: Don't cry Caterpillar from Grace Nichols
" Don't cry caterpillar
Caterpillar don't cry,
You'll be a butterfly, dash by and by,
Caterpillar, please don't worry about a thing,
"But", said the caterpillar,
"Will I still know myself - in wings""
- Go out and find evidence of caterpillars
Possible Tools: Magnifying Glass, Ruler, Nature Journal, Bug Carrier
- Look for leaves that have holes in them and see if there is a caterpillar underneath
- If you choose to take the caterpillar with you, take a some leaf that it was eating
Amanda shared with us how they witnessed the metamorphosis of a Black swallow tail butterfly. So cooool!
Here are some instructions about how to raise a caterpillar to an adult stage.
- Start this sequence as a caterpillar in an egg, on your knees and folded down, head tucked in (child's pose)
- Breath here nice and slow, in and out through the nose, waiting and being still
- Slowly start to move the head, and pop! bring the head forward not moving the body and start nibbling at the egg shell. Your first meal!
- You need to search for more food! To move, lengthen yourself out and then jump or wiggle your feet to behind your hands, and repeat 3 times or so
- When you find food to eat you are to return to your knees and nibble away using your hands.
-Now the more you eat and move around, you continue to get longer and longer until when you go to eat you are lying flat on your belly.
- You have eaten so much that you have become a huge caterpillar! Lay on your back, reach your hands to your toes and grab the big toe and rock from side to side
- Crawl one last time to find a place to be still, lay on your back and draw your knees in and wait here
- 3 breaths here and then shoot those legs up and out!
- Come to sit on your bottom and bring the feet together with bent knees, flap up and down like a butterfly!
- Get to your feet and fly around!!
I hope that you all have an excellent week!