Currently at Carnegie Natural History Museum there is a hands-on exhibit all about butterflies. When we first saw this advertised we through it would be a butterfly experience with live butterflies, but it turns out that it is something quite different.
It is a butterfly experience that allows kids to live the life of a butterfly and experience the different stages of its life through a series of fun, hands-on activities.
There were many exhibits we visited that day but a good bulk of our time there was spent here, because it was so much fun.
Before entering the maze and experiencing life as a butterfly the kids were encouraged to pick up a stamp card which they could use to collect stamps at the various stations of a butterfly’s life.
After collecting the stamp card the kids entered the maze.
As we moved through the maze the kids had to read signs and make decisions on whether to turn left or right based on what they felt a butterfly would choose. A wrong choice led to a dead end but a correct choice led to the next step in a butterfly’s life.
We went from hatching from an egg and becoming a caterpillar:
To eating and growing:
To avoiding predators:
To forming a chrysalis:
And breaking free as a butterfly:
From there we were drawn to nectar and helped pollinate flowers:
before laying eggs of our own and then soaring free.
It was a really fun exhibit and an great teaching tool for Tyler who always learns better through experiences rather than sitting and reading about something.
It was also a good reminder for me, as I moved through the maze pondering on the metaphor of a butterfly’s life, that the most painful times of our life result in the most magnificent metamorphosis.
We have to struggle before we can soar!