Last week, my granddaughter Britney got to set ‘her’ butterfly free.
Brit attends a local Strong Start program two mornings a week. I hope you have something like Strong Start for your little ones wherever you live. In BC, Strong Start is funded through the province, open to all kids aged zero to five, taught by qualified early childhood educators and operates out of classrooms in local elementary schools. The overall learning experience is shared; parents and caregivers attend with their children and are encouraged to get involved in enjoying all the activities. The parent/caregiver/child component of the program has multiple benefits. Strong Start is a place for adults to meet one another in a supportive environment where valuable parenting lessons are learned right along with the playing.
I went with Brit one day near Thanksgiving and helped her make a pumpkin pie craft – a small paper plate smeared with brown paint and sprinkled with cinnamon – easy but effective. We also did red-paint, hand prints that looked surprisingly like turkeys. Later at snack time Teacher Kathy had a deliciously real pumpkin pie for everyone to share. Sometimes we think snack is Brit’s favourite part of Strong Start. But what’s not to love – fruit, cheese, muffins, and other healthy offerings.
On Mother’s Day, Brit presented her mom and both her grandmas with this wonderful little tea-pot gift. Who doesn’t love preschool craft gifts – seriously – it’s enough to bring tears to the eyes of the most
anti-clutter, what-the-heck-am-I supposed-to-do-with-this-thing type of person.
Back to the butterflies, she said, wiping away the tears. There’s this place in the Lower Mainland of BC called Flutterbuy’s. They sell butterfly release kits to local schools. Check out their website. It’s worth it just for the flitting butterfly extravaganza. I suspect most schools in the area use their services. The kits are advertised as follows: The transformation of caterpillar to butterfly is one of the true wonders of nature. Watch the children’s enthusiasm as they experience the wonder of metamorphosis first hand. The caterpillars grow so rapidly that the children will see the difference from one day to the next, and may even witness the moment a caterpillar becomes a chrysalis. From caterpillar to butterfly takes about 3 weeks.
And there you have it! The butterflies went free last week and, in terms of sheer wonder, I think these pictures prove it was everything the company promised.