Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Our first ladybug!

We went down to check today, and the first pupa looked a little weird (and open), and then we found the ladybug in there crawling around! It's still a burnt orange color with lots of black dots. I'm really excited for the kids to see it tomorrow and hopefully we get another one!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Chrysalis transfer

Once we had all 4 chrysalides, I got them all transferred to the butterfly habitat and got some good pictures of them.

We got out the last caterpillar skins and the kids were all excited to take turns to finally touch them!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


Camera battery's dead, but not too many changes to report today. All 4 caterpillars are now is chrysallides, so I'll be moving them to the butterfly habitat soon. We could have our first hatching as soon as Thursday.
As for the ladybugs, I may have figured out the mystery of the one yellow pupa. It has now darkened like the rest. So as far as I can figure, we just happened to catch it in its transitioning stage.
So, now everyone is a pupa and we are just waiting and watching!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


3 chrysallides and one more ready to go!

As for our ladybugs, I'm still unsure how they're doing. A bunch of them look like the first one who I thought made a pupa, but when we checked today, one is in a yellow case! I kinda panicked thinking that was the only one who made a pupa, and that the rest died. I'm not really sure what they're supposed to look like. The little model one we have is dark, but the pictures in our book and on our life cycle poster show a light one like the yellow one we have.

The weirdest part about the yellow one, as you hopefully can see, is that it moves! We sat watching it, fascinated, and it moves up and down. It's kinda weird.
So I'm honestly still not sure the state of our ladybugs, but I got on Insect Lore's website (who I bought them from) and their video shows them in dark pupas like most of ours are in. So, maybe the yellow one is the weird one? Who knows? I can't wait to keep watching and seeing what else happens. And if it all fails, I am guaranteed 5 ladybugs and get a new shipment for free if that doesn't happen :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

life cycles....

Here's the Thursday night update. We had 1 chrysalis this morning, plus the other one still upside down. Another was on the lid, and we could see he had attached himself to the top. The other was still wandering and eating. The kids were all so excited to see the new chrysalis! We were checking on them constantly, yet somehow, when we weren't looking, we missed number 3 turning upside down! I was reading to a group of kids right next to it, and we finished a book and looked up and he was upside down. As we got ready to go home, some kids were over there checking on them, then about 15 minutes after school, I went to get the snack dishes, and we had a second chrysalis! I think in my mind it's a slower process and I've been dying to watch it happen, or at least catch it partway through, and we always miss it. So we have 2 so far!

 The black globs are their skin below each chrysalis.

As for the ladybugs, they were still active except for 2. At bedtime tonight we checked again and I think we have our first pupa. He seems to have some kind of case around him. It's way hard getting good pics of the ladybugs, especially with him being on the side of the plastic.

 The blurry one on the side is the pupa...and the guy on the bottom in the light brown area seems to be curled up to make a pupa too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Next step in the life cycle...

I came downstairs this morning to all 4 caterpillars on the lid. Within about an hour, two had come back down to eat, and one was upside down in this cool J shape. The other one up there was upside down by the afternoon! We may have a chrysallis or two for school in the morning!

As for the ladybugs, they're still growing. I've never watched them change before so I'm not sure, but I think one of them is getting ready to change into a pupa! He's stuck here on the wall and his legs are curled in a bit. To be honest, I was kinda worried he died, but since he's still stuck there with his legs curled in, I'm hoping he's getting ready for his big change! Hope you can see it with the pics. It's hard to get my camera to focus on these little guys.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Caterpillars and Ladybugs

We're not even doing a bug unit this year, but with all the interest in bugs after Eric Carle week, I decided we had to do the caterpillars again this year. It's just so much fun watching them change! And since 6 of our 9 students saw them last year, I decided to try something new and get ladybugs too! They were delivered last Thursday at 12:30, just 30 minutes after the kiddos went home! So they did a ton of growing and changing over the weekend, but I'll keep you updated here since they only get to see them twice a week at school. Here's how they looked on day 1:
We transferred the ladybug larvae to their new home. The caterpillars stay in their jar until their chrysallides form.
Day 3:

And Day 4:

After having bugs in my kitchen all weekend, I got them a nice little home set up in the preschool. Along with the bugs, I also bought the life cycle models. Since they don't get to hold and handle the bugs, I had to get something they could hold and touch. Since I took the pics, I also added a ladybug life cycle poster and magnifying glasses so they can get a close up view of these awesome larvae!

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Dramatic Play
I had a hard time thinking of something Easter-related for DP that I had supplies for, so we got out the castle again. They've been asking since Halloween. I had my medieval costumes, like princesses, knights, and a dragon, inside. This was definitely the favorite center of the week!

The first day, we decorated foamie Easter eggs with Easter stickers. They loved this!
The second day, we used potato stamps to make Easter egg pictures. I tried to carve cool designs into the potatoes, and then stamped, they looked like eggs! It was fun.

Small Manips
We played with E is for egg pages and glass beads. They love making patterns with these. There was also a shadow matching game and number puzzles in this Easter pack I downloaded from here.

I found these fun Easter magnets at Dollar Tree that were fun to play with.
We had ABC Easter eggs, where they had to match the capital to the lower case letter, and find the object that went inside. They were great at emptying them out, but when we cleaned up, I made them find the matches and corresponding object and they did awesome working together and finding them all.
I made rainbow Jello jiggler eggs. They loved peeling apart the colors.

We played with colored rice in the sensory table. We also just enjoyed the spring warmth! We had bubbles out too and that was a huge hit!

Large Group
Day 1, we read an Easter book, then played a sound matching game with eggs. I filled plastic eggs with different objects, and through shaking and listening, we found their matches.
In small group time, we went back to our feelings theme from last week, and read My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. I gave them each a piece of paper and a paper cut out person and they got to choose which color from the book matched their mood for the day and paint their picture and person. The original plan had been to peel off the person to leave its mark on the paper, but that didn't work out. For many of them, the person (although I taped it underneath) moved a lot so underneath was not a person outline. For the ones who had a great outline, I didn't get the person off on time! We were cleaning up and trying to leave on time, I forgot to peel the people. I remembered after school, but they had dried and were stuck on. It still worked out fine, and they enjoyed the process and learned the lesson about different moods.

Day 2, we made Easter sculptures. This really tested our creativity, problem solving skills, and small motor skills. They had fun using toothpicks, and different Easter candies and marshmallows to build their sculpture. When it tipped, or fell, they'd have to figure out how to fix it and I saw some great problem solving happen.
We also reviewed patterns with Easter pictures.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Ok, so this really needed to be 3 weeks! It's just such an important topic for the kids, but it's also one of those things that we're constantly talking about and need to address in many daily situations.

Dramatic Play
Due to popular demand, we had the return of the doctor's office.

Wood ABC blocks and train.

We made magazine faces. I cut out eyes, noses, and mouths out of magazines and they got to put them together to make fun faces. They mentioned they needed hair too so I got out some paper strips that some of them used to glue on hair. They also had markers to draw anything else they needed.

I printed and laminated these play dough face mats so they could use play dough to make different face expressions. They thought it was pretty funny for awhile, then just wanted out the rollers and cookie cutters to make whatever.

Small Manips
Shape and color links
Feelings puzzle
Number puzzle

Writing Table
Faces to draw expressions on.
We enjoyed some spring weather with more bug hunting, plus balls, hula hoops, and colored rice in the sensory table.

Large Group
Day 1, we watched the Dave Matthews and Grover video about feelings and read a book about different feelings. We talked about expressing feelings with words instead of actions and then played a feelings game. I made 2 dice with emotions on one and animals on the other. They took turns rolling the dice and acting out the emotion and animal. It was so fun!
In place of small group, we worked together on this Sesame Street feelings paper I found that can be used to help them talk about and express different emotions.
Day 2, we read a book called Hurty Feelings and talked about how people feel when we say hurtful things to them. I then took a paper heart and had the kids say mean things to it, and crumple it with each insult. They didn't like doing that part, because they knew they shouldn't say mean things to someone and hurt their heart. We apologized and complimented the heart and smoothed out the wrinkles and taped the tears. I then pointed out that the heart still wasn't what it used to be, because insults can really hurt. We talked about how it's good to apologize when we've said hurtful things, but it's even better to not say those things in the first place.

We continued learning about our feelings during Easter week too.