This month, the kiddos in my preschool were able to learn about hatching chicks. Our wonderful music/resource teacher was in charge of this project, which allowed all of the children to be involved. She got some fertilized eggs and an incubator from a local farm and set up everything in our music room. The kiddos were very excited about the arrival of the eggs. Honestly, so was I! I still remember hatching chicks when I was in kindergarten, so I knew our students would have great memories of this experience.
Over the course of 21 days, the children were able to observe the eggs in the incubator. They also participated in “candling” experiments, which allowed them to take a peek at the chicks’ progress inside the eggs. Each of the classroom teachers incorporated some learning activities related to chicks during the month, as well.
After waiting three weeks, there was some indication that the chicks were ready to hatch. On Tuesday morning, we saw a small crack in a few of the eggs. The process chicks go through as they hatch is a long process, up to 12 hours, so we knew there was still some time to wait before the chicks hatched. When we left school that afternoon, there were more cracks, but still no chicks.
The next morning, which happened to be the first day of spring, there were two brand-new baby chicks in the incubator! I was the first one in to work that day, so I made sure to notify our music teacher via text. I swear, we are all atwitter as if the hatching chicks were human babies being born! It really was a cool process to watch!
The newly-hatched chicks stayed in the incubator until their feathers were a bit dryer. At that time, they were transferred to a special box made just for them. There was a window cut into the box, covered by cling wrap, and a heat lamp hung above the box. It was lined with paper towels and contained food and water for the chicks, too.
For the rest of the week, each class had the chance to visit with the chicks. The children were completely enraptured watching the chicks in the box! The chicks seemed just as interested in the children, as they’d often come to the window peeping at the kiddos through the “window”.
In addition to observing the chicks in their box, the children were also able to pet and/or hold the chicks last week. I loved watching their faces as they held the chicks! What an amazing experience for them, as well as for the teachers. Yes, we teachers were just as into petting and holding the chicks as the kids were.
Engineer came into school with me a few evenings last week. He loved watching the chicks, talking to them, and holding them. We had so many great discussions about how chicks grow inside their eggs, the hatching process, and what chicks need to grow. He tried his best to get me to adopt some of the chicks! Thankfully, he saw reason and agreed that we just didn’t have an appropriate place to keep chicks.
On Friday, our music teacher returned the chicks to the farm. Watching the chicks hatch was a real, meaningful, and fun learning process for both teachers and students alike. Below are some books and arts/crafts related to chicks that go along well with the real-life experience of hatching chicks.
Books related to Hatching Chicks and Eggs (please note that there are Amazon affiliate links below) –
~ Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones (World of Nature Series)
~ Big Egg (Step-Into-Reading, Step 1)
~ From Egg to Chicken (Lifecycles)
~ Tillie Lays An Egg
~ An Extraordinary Egg
~ Where Do Chicks Come From? (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)
~ Hedgie’s Surprise
~ From Egg to Chicken (Start to Finish)
Arts & Crafts Activities related to Chicks and Eggs
~ House of Burke’s Contact Paper Chick
~ Red Ted Art’s Egg Carton Chicken Egg Cups
~ Taming the Goblin’s Easter Chicks
~ Casa One.Five.One’s Easter Craftiness
~ Little Wonders’ Days’ Shaving Cream Painted Easter Egg Cards
~ Crafty Endeavor’s Easter Egg Garland