Dancing with butterflies

The morning we had scheduled for our 2017 Butterfly coincided with the Big Butterfly count, but also weather that drove them all indoors (or sheltering under leaves).

Somewhat concerned that the children might fail to see a butterfly we rolled out our ‘Plan B’ and attached some artificial butterflies around the woodland area, in places most suitable to catch the light and also the attention of the children.

The plastic butterflies may not have been the real thing, in more ways than one, but to a child all excited about going on a butterfly hunt we didn’t want to disappoint.

Here comes the sun

child holding clipboardHaving got pretty wet from wading through the high woodland undergrowth, while hanging out the butterflies, the sunshine arrived. As the sun shone and the temperature rose considerably the butterflies began to appear, just in time for the arrival of our families for the Butterfly Ball.

The children enjoyed themselves watching and chasing the butterflies as they flittered up and down the woodland rides.

The children marked off the butterfly species they saw and along the way learned quite a lot from Gerald, who knows a lot about British butterflies and their habits,

The families were also taken to see a chrysalis, of the Orange Tip butterfly, hanging precariously from a dead Hazel stem next to its food plant, Jack-by-the-hedge. The children were fascinated and it really seemd to fire up their interest in the world of butterflies..

Butterfly species seen at the Butterfly Ball

We saw some lovely butterflies including the magnificent Silver-Washed Fritilliary, pictured here. A truly magnificent butterfly to see and one we are thrilled has chosen to use the woodland for feeding and breeding,

orange butterflyOther butterflies recorded as seen at the Butterfly Ball included:

  • Ringlet
  • Meadow Brown
  • Gatekeeper
  • Speckled Wood
  • Common Blue
  • Red Admiral
  • Brimstone
  • Comma
  • Small Copper
  • Green Veined White

A pretty good result by any standard. So we celebrated with cake – butterfly themed of course!

plate of butterfly cakes

Creative butterfly-themed activity

two boys holding butterfly feedersWhat’s a ball without some creative input? So, we set to making some butterfly feeders for the children to take home to put in their gardens.

Designed as flowers, standing in a pot, the butterfly feeders were lovingly crafted and painted by the children, with just a little bit of help from the adults. The centre-piece involved some cotton wool stuck into a fizzy bottle drinks cap, to be wetted with sugary water once the feeder was put out in the garden.

Future Outdoor Tribe events

Starting in September 2017 we have Forest School sessions running on Sundays and Mondays, to cater for children attending school and also those who are home educated.

If your child has special needs and finds it challenging to be in a group situation, check out our Nature Ninja awards that have been specially, but not exclusively designed, for special needs children of all ages.

Help us keep you up to date with new events by subscribing to our mailing list. You can choose what you’d like to hear about and you’ll be pleased to know we don’t send out lots of emails 🙂

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