Tot Time – Butterfly Mania

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This week we continued with a “spring” and “insects” theme. Sadly, our ladybug larvae still have not arrived. I guess they are the ones that couldn’t be shipped during cold temperatures. Our worms continue to thrive, though Dora is no longer interested in them. Her interest has transferred to the caterpillars, which are growing nicely. It may be that they will be ready to form chrysalis some time next week.
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In preparation for our new butterfly friends, I took Dora to the Pacific Science Center, which has a year-round butterfly display. Dora was very interested in the butterflies and enjoying herself until one of them decided to take up residence on my foot. Every time I gently shook the fellow off my foot, it flew right back to me. This really freaked her out, so we had to leave at that point. Fortunately, we had spent quite some time there already. Some of the butterflies in the display will land on the ground, so one needs to be careful not to step on them. I was very happy to see Dora actually taking this seriously and not running or poking the butterflies. She does not always exhibit such tender care when dealing with our household pets, so I had been a bit worried.

Additionally, I brought out this 5-layer butterfly puzzle to do with Dora. It was too complicated for her to do all the layers, but she enjoyed seeing the stages of a butterfly’s life. At first, she didn’t want to look at the caterpillar and chrysalis, but then her eagerness to learn about them overcame her squeamishness.
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We made coffee filter butterflies for a butterfly-themed craft. I had planned to paint the coffee filters with watercolors, but Dora was not interested in watercolors, having recently used them in a painting book. So I tempted her with markers, which are a treat for her as I have to store them out of her reach, since she writes on the walls and furniture with them otherwise. The method we found that worked best to use markers was to stack 2-3 coffee filters together, color them well, and then mist the filters with a squirt bottle. The colors ran together in a nice abstract way. Gohan even got in on the action and did a lot of experimentation with misting lightly vs. more heavily. We found that if we didn’t stack 2-3 filters together, all of the ink would run on the table and the design would be washed out. We then used pipe cleaners to form the body and antennae.

For butterfly-themed reading, we enjoyed the variety of fact and fiction that these books provided:
 

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In addition to studying butterflies, I learned that Dora really likes working with plants. We went to Molbak’s, which is a lovely nursery near us. It is actually a bit of a tourist attraction, complete with its own café, if you are ever in the Seattle area. Dora’s favorite part of the store was the fountains and we had to spend quite a bit of time looking at them. She also really enjoyed picking out her own flowers and seeds. Later, she enjoyed “helping” me to plant them and the other flowers I bought. Unfortunately, she doe not quite grasp the concept of planting flowers and burying only the roots. She seems to feel that we should also cover the actual flowers in dirt, so I had to spend a great deal of time rescuing our flowers from her efforts. Still, it was nice to see her so excited about gardening. I can’t wait to see her face when her seeds begin to grow. She and Gohan picked out these gnome and mushroom figurines at Target, which I thought were just too cute.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Finally, Mr. Mo introduced her to the sounds of crickets and frogs, which we have an abundance of around us, since we live right next to two water retaining ponds. Mr. Mo taught her that if she wanted to listen to them, she had to be quiet, which was quite a challenge for our little chatterbox. When she got too loud, all of the crickets and frogs got quiet. She found this fascinating and proceeded to take the rest of us outside to observe this phenomenon.
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Shibley Smiles Tot School
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Labels: Toddlers
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff