On Monday we attended our first Homeschool event for 2020.
Butterfly world hosted a homeschool open day at their beautiful grounds.
We rounded up fellow homeschool mom @parentingbarely and her little boy and my friend Colleen and we set off for a morning of adventure.
About Butterfly world
Butterfly world is the largest butterfly park in South Africa and is situated near the quaint little town of Klapmuts.
Open Monday to Sunday 9am to 5pm*, with friendly and knowledgeable staff to make your visit educational, entertaining and enjoyable.
(*The only day they are closed is Christmas day.)
All the animals at Butterfly world, with the exception of the butterflies, have been donated to the centre.
Within the 1000 square meter greenhouse are hundreds of free flying butterflies. Some of the exotic butterflies are from a far afield as Costa Rico.
We used this chart to try and find each butterfly and I will print a butterfly treasure hunt for Hamish to check off before our next visit.
I was interested to read that the Butterfly world team fly pupae in from around the world to hatch in this miniature tropical paradise.
One of the things I was most greatful for was the opportunity to explain metamorphosis in real life to Hamish as we have just finished learning about the butterfly life cycle.
We were able to see eggs, chrysalis and butterfly emerging.
Sadly no caterpillars but in the eco centre the kids were treated to a beautiful puppet show depicting the life cycle of a butterfly. This was certainly geared at the foundation phase children and Hamish was mesmerized.
Of the other highlights were having butterflies fly around them, watching a butterfly feed and getting to hold one.
The eco centre
As we have been to butterfly world as a family I was eager to view it from an educators perspective and the eco centre certainly gained my attention.
I love the rustic lapa feel and the few decorations that di not attract to much attention, allowing your child to focus on the person giving the talk show or demonstration.
It was amazing. We unfortunately left half way as a three year old does not have the same attention span as a 10 year old.
My only critique would be a love to see the talks divided into age categories and specifically geared to preschool, middle school or high school with the home school children slotting into their age or ability category. This would allow for smaller groups and less stress on the animals, and preschool moms.
Having said that, I’m really looking forward to the next Butterfly world homeschool open day.
Up close and personal
Whilst in the eco centre we learnt about two types of lizards and the information was child centered, interesting and factual.
Hamish walked away knowing a lot more about lizards and got the opportunity to touch them both.
He also got a quick lesson about salamanders
And we got to see an axitoli ( a Mexican salamander) up close. It’s been on my wish list to own one, until I read how endangered they are.
But how beautiful is he?
Butterfly world is also home to many other animals.
You can see tortoise, lizards, spiders,lemur, Guinea pigs,monkey, scorpions, snakes, meercat, and many bird species.
There are some stunning viewing decks and one of those house two friendly owls that we were privileged to say hello to.
There is also a road kill museum where your child can view several skeletons and preserved butterflies.
In conclusion, this is a beautiful day out with a lovely gift shop and delectable restaurant with affordable pricing.
It’s incredibly humid in the greenhouse, as these are the temperatures that the butterflies need to survive, so I would suggest taking water with for the kids.
There’s an outside area, so it is also advisable to pack in a cap and some sunscreen and don’t forget the camera as there are many photo opportunities, both with the animals and with the unique art works around the grounds.