Summer Reading Pool Party!

Registration is NOW OPEN for the Riverside Aquatic Center Summer Reading Pool Party.  Click Here to register online or call us at 309-524-2440 to reserve your spot today!


Painted Lady Butterflies


Just a few feet away from me are a couple dozen caterpillars eating their fill and growing like weeds.  They looked like a black piece of pipe cleaner (chenille stem) less than half an inch long when they first arrived.

Now they are an inch long getting plump and their hair though sparse looks white. For three weeks the caterpillars will eat their fill and during that time they will shed their skin four times! When they reach the end of the caterpillar stage they will be hairy, black with yellow and about two inches long.

Caterpillars have a hole just under their mouth and silk thread comes from it. In a safe spot the caterpillar will spin the thread into a small pad to hang from. While they are hanging their skin will split open from top to bottom and you can see the shiny green case which is the chrysalis.

Amazing things happen inside a chrysalis. The caterpillar loses all shape and turns into a liquid, then reforms into a butterfly. This process take a bit longer than a week. The butterflies will  push on the chrysalis and slowly emerge.

The butterflies are very tired and will rest for a short bit before unfolding their soft and wrinkled wings. After a few hours the wings will be dry and the butterflies can fly into the air.

Miss Sarah

Gel Print Butterflies and Children’s Book Week

We made these beautiful butterflies in April’s Creativity Lab!  We used gel plates, acrylic paint, and different items to achieve these unique designs and textures.

The butterflies made a great display for Children’s Book Week, which we will celebrate for two weeks – April 29 through May 11.

Children's Book week

Over the weeks, we’ll have some great programs and fun activities.  There will be lots of Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired games and crafts out around the department, so drop in and enjoy!

Our next Creativity Lab will be on Thursday, May 9th where our friends from the Figge will teach us how to make Tiffany-inspired window art.  Be sure to register for that one!

Miss Tess


Celebrating the Very Hungry Caterpillar

With Children’s Book Week and the 50th anniversary of Eric Carle’s classic the Very Hungry Caterpillar this year, we set up some fun activities throughout the department to celebrate.

Our lovely caterpillars are eating lots and growing bigger every day!


We have two crafts out – Build a Bug and Make a Butterfly.

We also have a Very Hungry Caterpillar book walk along the windows.

There is a sensory bin with bug hunting for the littles and plenty of Very Hungry Caterpillar props near the puppet theater for storytelling.

There is also a Feed the Caterpillar game using pom-poms and squeeze bottles.


And don’t forget to do the Very Hungry Caterpillar scavenger hunt.  When you spot all the story shapes throughout the department, you win a prize!

Can you spot the warm sun here?


Next week, we will add another craft, a Very Hungry Caterpillar obstacle course, and a Very Hungry food toss!

Miss Tess