Nature, Science/Math

Spring Project Update

The caterpillars are here!

They survived an overnight on our porch (I forgot to check for delivery…ooops!) They also endured a trip to Cooper’s school yesterday where the curious preschoolers crowded around and watched them eat and eat and eat.

Growing butterflies has proved to be a bit of an emotional roller coaster, however. So far this morning, only one of our five caterpillars is eating, and he’s markedly bigger than the others. I’m not sure what might have happened overnight. Uh oh! This may require a second effort, perhaps one where I remember to check the porch for packages.

We continue to water our seeds and keep them in the windowsill. So far, no sprouts, but I’m crossing my fingers.

Homeschool, Nature, Outside, Science/Math

First Day of Spring Fun

March 20th marks the first day of spring this year. At our house, I’m hoping spring will mean the end of an intense winter storm with high winds and cold rain. Didn’t the Punxsutawney clan predict only six more weeks of winter?

Nevertheless, we are celebrating the beginning of spring at our house by engaging in a number of spring activities. As we drive and play outside, I encourage the boys to look for signs of spring: buds and blossoms on trees, ants scurrying about, birds singing their spring songs, bunnies hopping, warming weather. We’ve talked about spring weather and how it differs from winter. (NOTE: Click here for a Kindergarten spring weather lesson plan.) Finally, last week I took Cooper and Finley to Lowe’s where they each picked a packet of seeds and a pair of gardening gloves. We started our seeds in egg cartons since it’s still too cold to sow them outside. They are so excited about their plants, spritzing them with a spray bottle every day; I am crossing my fingers they germinate.

Many of our spring activities have been inspired by Scholastic’s Nature’s Miracles book series by Judith Anderson and Mike Gordon. The set includes four books — one each about seeds, caterpillars, tadpoles and raindrops. Each book explains a natural cycle; for example Once There Was a Seed  begins with a young girl and her grandfather planting a seed and follows that seed as it sprouts, blooms, produces pollen, and dies and spreads its seeds starting the cycle over again. The back of the book includes for reading the book with your child and suggestions for more spring activities, books for additional reading and helpful Web sites.

Hopefully warm spring weather has made it your way. Happy spring!