October 5, 2021
Could this toddler’s hand be reaching out to a fourth generation monarch? Could it be that this spectacular insect, which gently floats throughout the park in the warm September breeze, is preparing to spread its wings and fly 3,000 miles south to Mexico?
Like the butterfly the toddlers are working on spreading their wings and branching out to explore the world. “Nature” class is an opportunity to observe these gentle beings exploring their surroundings through playing, touching, and experimenting. These children are connecting with their surrounding natural world each day when they leave their homes. It is a land full of adventure and wonder.
As I watch the toddlers dig in our raised garden beds, I imagine of all the neurons firing as they touch and move the soil around. Digging, filling, and dumping buckets uninterrupted is exactly where they need to be at the moment. It’s a time for them to unwittingly experiment with physics, measurement, mathematics, and language. Unfurling their minds just as the newly morphed butterfly slowly spreads its wings. Both a wonderful sight to see.
By inviting a child into the outdoors we expose them to endless journeys. It is a chance to flutter about and alight the senses. As their tiny bodies move about it reminds me of the butterfly’s dancing antennae, quickly flicking about searching for clues about their environment.
Welcome the adventure of the outdoors for your child or children regardless of their age. It will take them as far as their hypothetical wings will allow.
Two interesting links related to Monarch Butterflies. Enjoy