June Highlights: Bugs, Butterflies and Bubbles!

Planting in the Nature Classroom (Toddlers Harvie)

Our toddlers have been noticing plants growing in the Peace Garden in the School Age Yard. What better way to explore this further then to plant in our own garden boxes!

Britney and AS looked in our classroom for some seeds and came across carrots, cucumbers, and watermelon. Our preschool friends were even kind enough to share some of their wildflower seeds with us.

We started by turning up the soil in the garden box with the help of our toddler friends. JA, JF, HE, CH and a few others took turns turning the soil with their shovels to help prepare it for our seeds. We started with our wild flower seeds and carefully the toddlers took turns shaking some seeds into the garden box.

Once we finished planting the wild flowers we started working on our other garden box and planted cucumber seeds. When we were done we asked our friends what they thought our plants would need to help them grow. “Water!” many of them shouted. They all took turns watering the garden boxes to help our wild flowers and cucumber grow big and strong.

Once our seeds were planted, Britney came up with a great idea to paint our flower boxes so that everyone knew which ones were the toddlers. We had lots of fun painting with all different colours. We are even trying an experiment while we watch our garden boxes grow, we are going to see what will happen if we cut the top of a carrot off and place it in water. Will it grow again?

Bye-Bye Butterflies (Nursery program)

Our Nursery friends were delighted when they returned to class Tuesday morning to find that two of our butterflies had emerged from their chrysalis’! They excitedly watched as the butterflies landed on a piece of orange and drank the juice. They wondered why they weren’t flying and we talked about how their wings needed to dry and how the orange juice was giving them energy.

Thursday morning, we noticed that all of the chrysalis’ were open and we counted five butterflies in our butterfly habitat! The children squealed when the butterflies fluttered their wings and we just knew that this had to be the day to release them into nature. Before we went home, we took them out into the sunshine to let them go. It was extra special because our parents showed up just in to see the last couple fly away.

We think the butterflies must have liked our company because they stuck around a while and even landed on our fingers and clothes which we thought was pretty awesome! As each one flew away and disappeared into the distance, we called out to them, “Bye-bye Butterfly!”

Creating with Bubbles (BBP Preschool)

If you can recall, last week our preschool friends were experimenting with coloured bubble solution to see if we could make coloured bubbles. LL was quick to point out the fact that in the air his bubbles did not look blue like the bubble solution was in the bowl. So after this interaction we decided to try putting paper down on the floor and blowing bubbles on that to see if our bubbles were actually the colour of the bubble solution. In no time we had many friends gathered around to blow bubbles.

CS was the first to get a bubble that landed on the paper and what excitement in his eyes when he noticed the colour of the bubble. “Look Kristi! Look! My bubble on the paper is purple just the water in the bucket” he exclaimed. Soon we had blue, red and purple bubbles landing everywhere on our paper. Not only were our friends excited that we had successfully made coloured bubbles, they were also really excited about the artwork they were creating with the popping bubbles. “It’s just like tie dye” RD described it as.

Green bug, green bug! (toddlers BBP)

Yesterday, while a group of toddlers and I were sitting in the grass reading books about bugs, MH spotted something hanging right in front of us. “Look a bug!!” he said. We all jumped up to get a closer look. “Green bug, Green bug,” SM said. It looked like he was hanging on a tiny string. I brought him down a bit closer for us to see and we talked about where this “bug” came from. MH and SM looked up and said “trees”.  

As I brought it down closer we noticed that it was a tiny caterpillar. I asked the toddlers where they thought he should go and they said the garden so we brought him over to the garden and put him on the edge.

We looked closely as he slowly moved down into the soil. We watched the caterpillar for a while wondering where he was going. MH thought he was looking for his mommy. Once the caterpillar got into the soil the toddlers said he was going to get stuck in the dirt. FH seemed concerned and asked me to put him back in the tree. He got me a stick and we carefully put him in a low branch so he could look for his mommy.

Our natural environment provides us with countless moments throughout the day to engage with the children and embark on investigations based on their natural curiosities

Creating a bird perch! (School age)

The School Agers have been hard at work after school creating a bird perch near our peace garden. We started by selecting and cutting down four small poplar trees with the help of Chris before dragging them to the field to remove all of the branches with the pruners. This was hard work but, together, they managed to remove them all.

The next step was to sharpen the bottom ends of the trees so that they would go into the ground more easily. We learned how to use a knife to sharpen the end! That was cool. We also got to use a saw to cut the sapling to the correct length. Chris made the holes in the ground for us in the location we all agreed on and then helped us bend the trees before putting them into the holes. With a little work, the trees are now into the arch shape we were aiming for, but we still have a little work left to do to make it into the bird perch arch we have in mind.We can’t wait to show off the finished product!

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