Recently, Hazel and her Mum Sabina brought some insects into kindergarten from home. There was a praying mantis, different sized snails and many white butterfly caterpillars, that had been eating their vegetable seedlings. Much interest was shown in these from the children, as Sabina opened the containers and began to take them out. There were opportunities to touch and experience the sensation of the insects on their skins. The snail was slimy, whereas the other insects tickled as they crawled over the children.
Real life experiences for children are important. To see and touch these insects was a valuable learning experience, far greater than seeing them in a book, or on a screen, even if the highlight was noticing the caterpillars pooing.
Braxton went on to investigate what was inside the tiny tomato that accompanied the insects and plant life into the kindergarten. this then became a discussion with several children about whether it was a pumpkin or a tomato. More areas of discussion were about why the snail had four feelers, did the snail shell grow back if it was damaged, and was the smaller snail a baby or just small? These questions in turn, lead onto investigative learning, to find out the answers.