7 Benefits for Children Caring for Caterpillars in the Classroom
Children are naturally curious and are often enthralled by the natural world. If you’re reading this article, you probably share this trait with many of your peers. They are natural explorers and want to learn as much as they can about the world around them.
Kids have been interested in caring for caterpillars as a nature project in the past few years. Caterpillars are some of the most common insects. They also come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. Some caterpillars have tufts of hair. Others are smooth and look like little pill bugs. The different phases of life they undergo are perfect for a learning experience.
Let’s look at the seven benefits for children caring for caterpillars in the classroom.
1. Kids Learn About Growth and Development
Children learn about growth and development from their early childhood years. Through caring for caterpillars as nature projects in the classroom, they can gain more hands-on experience with this subject.
Caring for caterpillars is an ideal way to teach children about growth and development because you can explain what is happening in each stage of each caterpillar’s life. You can also source animal books from the library to further the information and foster learning.
2. They Are a Great Way to Explore Different Types of Caterpillars
Caterpillars are fun to watch. No matter what caterpillar you look at, they all seem to move similarly. Caterpillars are called amorphous because they are pink and have a hard-shell covering their bodies. This hard-shell protects them in the same way a chrysalis would protect an insect as it molts.
Additionally, just like abiotic materials (nonliving things) can be used to teach biology lessons, so can caterpillars! They are used in biomes and ecosystems within this lesson. That’s why teachers love their use as learning tools. Students learn about biodiversity in the classroom with their use.
3. They Can Teach Children Important Lessons
Caterpillars can be used in so many ways to teach students, especially younger children, what the world around them is like. For example, caterpillars can be used in science lessons to teach children about metamorphosis. This type of lesson teaches students that species adapt to different life situations.
Caterpillars in art lessons are favorable due to their color palette and how they crawl across colors. These colors make beautiful art pieces for students to paint and showcase their talents. Caterpillars are also great learning tools because they teach children how to self-reliance.
Students learn that when they are stressed or upset, they can calm down a bit by watching caterpillar movements while applying this information to everyday life scenarios.
4. Caterpillars Are Fascinating
Caterpillars are an interesting insect to watch. They undergo a wide range of transformations throughout the phases of their lives. Different species have different lifespans and characters. Some need a period to shed their skin and look slightly different underneath.
This can be compared to the changes that take place after the caterpillar emerges from its egg or as it becomes an adult butterfly. After understanding how these caterpillars behave, the children learn life responsibility.
5. Caterpillars Teach Childhood Lessons
In the same way that teachers can use caterpillars to learn about life and the phases in different insects’ lives, they can also be used as mentors to correct bad behavior and teach life lessons. What child doesn’t want their teacher correcting their behavior?
Children adore this type of learning because they can see their mistakes being corrected by the special teacher and become more accountable for what they do. A great way for teachers to use caterpillars is by using them for empathy lessons.
Empathy lessons are very popular in schools these days as many students come from broken homes, have rough neighborhoods or have had bad experiences with school environments with there not being positive adult role models in their lives. Caterpillars make great puppets that children can relate to because they are an animal just like them.
6. Caterpillars Are Easy to Find
Caterpillars are everywhere. The most common types of caterpillars range in color, shape, size and behavior. When we consider this diversity, it is easy to imagine how a classroom full of children might locate some caterpillars for their project.
7. Caterpillars Are Cheap
Caterpillars are cheap to buy or keep as pets or livestock. If you live somewhere with a large supply, they can even be caught in the wild with traps and nets.
This makes care and feeding very affordable for most children and families. Teachers can order caterpillars for classroom kit packages from reputable online stores to facilitate the caring lessons.
Caterpillars are some of the most common insects that adults and children may encounter daily. When children realize that all caterpillars need care and attention, they are more likely to care for them as a project.
If they choose to look after a caterpillar, they will learn more about them and understand how different creatures thrive under different conditions. It helps them learn some of the most crucial life phases and how to behave in these phases.