Three years ago, students at the Puyallup, Washington, KinderCare started a springtime tradition of hatching chicks. Marie, the Assistant Director, lives on a farm. Each spring she brings in some eggs and an incubator. Her students create a calendar to count down the days until the chicks hatch. The children also read a book about hatching eggs so they’re prepared for the big day.
Everyday the children tackle the job of turning the eggs. As the hatching day approaches, the class start candeling the eggs (holding a flashlight up to the egg) to see what is happening on the inside. Other staff members then begin taking turns checking the eggs during the weekends to see if it’s time for the chicks to hatch.
As the hatching day gets nearer and nearer, Marie prepares a pen for the chicks with food and water. As the chicks hatch, they’re placed in the pen – after the children name them, of course. Once the chicks hatch Marie takes the chicks back to her farm. She still has Norman the rooster, one of the first chicks to hatch in her classroom.
“It’s so educational and truly is the best science lesson of the year,” said Judy Werkheiser, Center Director.