During these last days of summer, the children and teachers at Sacred Heart Villa are enjoying the use of our outdoor classroom space. There are many exciting things happening around the property. We have been harvesting the last of the fruits and vegetables from our gardens in the front of school. There are many tomatoes, white and purple eggplants, watermelons, peppers and kale. Sr. Margaret has been using the fresh tomatoes and basil to make pasta sauce for our lunches.
We discovered that the parsley was diminishing in size quickly. Over the course of a few days half of it was gone. Upon further investigation we discovered that we had caterpillars in various stages crawling in our tub of parsley. The teachers recognized these caterpillars from previous years when we have such visitors to the herb garden area. These were swallow tail butterfly caterpillars. Our curious children started asking many questions about the life cycle of these caterpillars. Many of the teachers began to teach their classes about the life cycle of butterflies so the children would understand what was happening. Some of the teachers carefully removed a few of these caterpillars to bring inside the classroom for closer observations. Of course, we took along parsley from our garden to feed them. In just a few days many of these little crawling critters turned into green chrysalis hanging inside our butterfly netted pavilions. Now we must patiently wait for these green chrysalises to turn brown and then eventually into beautiful swallow tail butterflies.
Miss Patty and the Pre-K 1 class wanted to create a new baby doll washing station outside to share with the rest of the children. They brought out some small baby dolls, clothing for them, washcloths, clotheslines, clips, and small plastic tubes. Teachers helped the students put water and a little soap in the small tubs. The children are having such fun giving the baby dolls baths, washing their clothes, and hanging them on the clothesline to dry. This station reinforces sequential order and practical life skills in a fun interactive way. Our outdoor classroom space keeps the children engaged in learning, and is a wonderful asset to Sacred Heart Villa.