On our first day of Aftercare we wandered down to the nearby Fairy Woods to explore. Almost immediately, the children spotted this female praying mantis laying eggs. The perch she chose was part of a wooden structure the children built to play in last year, so the children moved her branch to a safer location. The eggs will over winter here, and the nymph mantids will hatch in early spring. The children are excited to be able to check on (and guard) the eggs until they hatch!
“The physical exercise and emotional stretching that children enjoy in unorganized play is more varied and less time-bound than is found in organized sports. Playtime—especially unstructured, imaginative, exploratory play—is increasingly recognized as an essential component of wholesome child development.”