it has been especially fun to give each butterfly a name as it left its chrysalis! We kept a box of the kids suggestions and drew a name randomly one at a time. Very exciting!
after all of our butterflies arrived, i thought it was time to set them free in our backyard and i knew it would be bittersweet because i was really going to miss these little guys. i was obsessed with creating a nice environment for them and providing all kinds of food to tempt them. i even brought them to my home for the weekend just to be safe!
although we didn't give much notice and only publicized the event on FB, we got a great turnout of about 25 kids for our release party. i researched online for ideas on how to do this but i couldn't find very much detailed info so this is how we did it:
Books We Read:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar- Carle (one last time LOL! it was too perfect too pass it up)
A Butterfly is Patient - Aston (non-fic but with gorgeous illustrations and lots of fun facts)
Traveling Butterflies- Shingu (very appropriate story of a butterfly's journey)
After our stories, I explained that there is an old Native American legend about wishing on a butterfly. They believe that if you whisper your wish to a butterfly, they won't tell anyone since they cannot speak. In return for granting a butterfly it's freedom and setting it free, your wish will come true!
i passed out brightly colored butterflies for the kids to decorate and cut out. i told them they could write their wish on the back & we could hang it up on a tree here or at home.
when everyone was ready, we walked out to our backyard; many of the kids were amazed because we never really go out there. it was a beautiful sunny day; very quiet and peaceful back there. a perfect place for butterflies!
I read a butterfly poem that I found online and tweaked a bit:
Butterfly Butterfly flutter around (flutter hands in the air)
Butterfly Butterfly touch the ground
Butterfly Butterfly fly so free (flap arms)
Butterfly, Butterfly land on me (hold out hand)
Butterfly Butterfly reach the sky (point up)
Butterfly Butterfly, say goodbye (wave)
Butterfly, Butterfly blow a kiss!
Butterfly, Butterfly, make a wish!
then i tossed a bit of colorful biodegradable confetti over all the kids and knelt down to untie the butterfly enclosure. one by one, they slowly emerged and flew away. it was a really special moment as we all quietly watched.
i cannot recommend this purchase enough! i can't believe that i never thought of trying this before. although it is not inexpensive, i got like 3 or 4 programs out of this kit so it was well worth the money! to me, seeing the excitement of so many families over these butterflies is really priceless!! it was just an amazing experience. i would LOVE to think of something else we could observe like this so please leave a comment if you have any suggestions! This could become an annual event!