Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Butterflies in the Garden

Do you live in or near Fort Worth, Texas? We are so very lucky to be close to the Fort Worth Botanic Garden  and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.  Every few years the Botanic Gardens puts on the Butterfiles in the Garden exhibit, and there are extension activities for families at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, right next door. The kiddos were very excited to put on pollinator costumes (butterflies, birds, bats) and to learn about them!  We learned lots of great words like puddling, basking, feeding and courting.  

At Bella's Bookclub we heard a story about monarch butterflies, danced to an original song about butterflies played on the banjo, did butterfly art projects, learned how butterfly and milk weed life cycles are similar, and more!  This is my favorite story time, because it is designed especially for young children, and balances age appropriate art and science projects, with a story, singing and dancing.  We LOVE Bella's Bookclub!

I took the kiddos to the butterflies exhibit in small groups, so we could really enjoy it.  Can you see the blue morpho butterfly photo-bombing this group?  Hundreds of butterflies were all around us!
 We were able to observe the fruit eating butterflies, like these Owl Butterflies, sitting on trays of fruit throughout the conservatory.  We could see its proboscis poking down into the fruit!
 The volunteers throughout the exhibit were very knowledgeable and helpful, one took this group photo for me, and many of them shared information about the butterflies.
 Butterflies really were everywhere, even on the paths, so we had to walk slowly and carefully.  We were able to get right up close to observe this Blue Morpho!

 These moths were HUGE and had transparent patches on their wings.  The children learned to tell moths from butterflies: moths have fuzzy antennas, butterfly antennas are plain.
 Everyone loved the "waterfall room", especially getting a few splashes...

 When we looked at the butterflies, they appear to only have 4 legs, but we know insects have 6 legs.  The children wanted to know what was going on with that - and so did I.  I searched online, and according to this site, "These are called brush footed butterflies.  The first pair of legs is greatly reduced in size and only the back four legs are used as functional legs."  Cool!
These are called brush-footed butterflies. The first pair of legs is greatly reduced in size and only the back four legs are used as functional legs. - See more at: http://www.gardenswithwings.com/facts-info/FAQ.html#sthash.TzaPjqE8.dpuf
Why do some butterflies appear to have 4 legs instead of 6?
These are called brush-footed butterflies. The first pair of legs is greatly reduced in size and only the back four legs are used as functional legs. - See more at: http://www.gardenswithwings.com/facts-info/FAQ.html#sthash.TzaPjqE8.dpuf
Why do some butterflies appear to have 4 legs instead of 6?
These are called brush-footed butterflies. The first pair of legs is greatly reduced in size and only the back four legs are used as functional legs. - See more at: http://www.gardenswithwings.com/facts-info/FAQ.html#sthash.TzaPjqE8.dpuf
 As we left the exhibit, everyone wanted to have a turn to sit in the butterfly chair, and then to check out the statues outside.

Next time we go, we hope the weather will be warmer, and we can take a picnic lunch and explore further.

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