Soaring on the Wings of a Butterfly

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We went from hatching from an egg and becoming a caterpillar:

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To eating and growing:

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To avoiding predators:

To forming a chrysalis:

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And breaking free as a butterfly:

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From there we were drawn to nectar and helped pollinate flowers:

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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.

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We have to  struggle before we can soar!

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