3 years old

Watching the Life Cycle of a Butterfly at Home


It's rare to find a product for children that is truly awe inspiring and that makes such a difference in their play and learning.  And that is what we found in the Butterfly Garden that we have been reviewing for Insect Lore.  We have watched a miracle unfold in our very own home, and the whole family has been completely mesmerised by it.

The Butterfly Garden kit comes with the mesh butterfly habitat, a feeding pipette for the nectar, full instructions to guide you every step of the way and a voucher to redeem online to order your live caterpillars.  We also received a packet of seeds to grow our own little wild flowers to attract our butterflies to stay in our garden after we set them free.  So our first step, while we waited for our caterpillars to arrive was to plant the seeds in our garden.

When our caterpillars arrived a few days later they were tiny and the kids loved watching them squirm around in their little jar just eating and leaving trails of their threads behind them.  They loved waking up every morning to see how much the caterpillars had grown and if they were starting to make their chrysalides yet.

Then one morning we woke up to find that the very first caterpillar had made his chrysalis! We were so excited to be able to really examine it closely and then to watch day after day as the other caterpillars joined him in their own chrysalides.

Around that time I received an email from Insect Lore to check in and to give some tips on what to do when it's time to transfer the chrysalides over from the small pot to the large mesh habitat.  I was so impressed with the way that they followed up and the way that you can tell that they truly care about the wellbeing of their caterpillars and want them to be cared for properly.

Once all of the caterpillars had become chrysalides we had the major task of moving them (whilst attached to the lid of the cup) into the chrysalis holder and then placing that gently into the butterfly habitat.  This isn't a difficult task at all, but one that you do want to be sure to do gently and with care.  The children watched as I very carefully went through the steps, helping when they could, observing how the chrysalides moved and shook as I moved them and taking photos for me.  

Once the chrysalides were safely in the butterfly habitat we just had to wait and check each day to see when our butterflies would emerge.  Then the day finally arrived and the first butterfly came out.  It was so quick that he was already out by the time I called the children over to see.  But then we were able to watch as he opened up his wings and grew strong enough to fly.  

We picked flowers from the garden, chopped up fruit from the fruit bowl and made some nectar (water and sugar) to feed our very first butterfly.

After that we were delighted to see the others emerge over the next few days.  The very last one to come out was the one in the chrysalis that had fallen down, and that's the only one that the kids were actually able to witness coming out of his cocoon.  It was such an incredible experience.

We kept our butterflies for a few days in the house, then waited for a nice sunny day to set them free in the garden.  We opened the top of  the habitat expecting them to fly straight out, but they stayed in their for ages before one by one they flew away.

We will definitely be doing this again, the children absolutely loved the experience from start to finish, they asked so many questions and learned more about the life cycle of a butterfly than they could any other way.  We highly recommend giving it a try at home.

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* This is a review post, we were sent the Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore in order to try it out and write our honest opinions*

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