Say hello to spring!

Springtime is the perfect time to get children of all ages connected with nature.

Say hello to spring by experiencing butterflies at an indoor garden. The Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden, located at Michigan State University (MSU), is hosting “Butterflies in the Garden,” during the month of April; the last day is April 30. This free event is a great way for children of all ages to connect with nature. Look for event information on the 4-H Children’s Garden website at. This interactive site has places to click for information on different topics. Click on the butterflies sign and you will see information about attending the event at the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden. Then click on “Plan your Visit” for helpful information about visiting hours, parking and butterfly scavenger hunts. You will also find the “Butterfly Etiquette” section for information about how to be gentle when visiting butterflies. According to Michigan State University Extension, parents and caregivers can help a child gain knowledge and awareness by teaching them about butterflies leading up to the visit.

Visitors attending “Butterflies in the Garden” will be able to:

  • Witness the flight of a Zebra Longwing
  • Find eggs hidden on host plants in the garden
  • Look for larva munching on leaves
  • Watch as an “adult emerges from its’ chrysalis!”
  • Discover more about butterflies and the garden

The Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden has 25 theme areas where children can explore and learn about horticulture, science, math, art, literature and more. Just being inside a greenhouse is a wonderful experience for children to enjoy nature, color and beauty. Additionally, with butterflies inside the greenhouse, it is an experience that will delight their senses. Young children learn through their five senses, so the experience is a multisensory learning environment for them.

Not everyone is able to visit MSU for this event, but children can enjoy the photos listed on the website of butterflies. On the Butterfly home page, locate “Stay Connected” and under that click on “Photos.” There are beautiful pictures of butterflies that have landed on children’s hands.

The site has a lot to offer for educational opportunities with children. One great opportunity for kids is to signup for the free newsletter that arrives four times a year by email. It is easy to signup on the website in the stay connected section; it will keep kids, and parents connected to the gardens all year long.