Back when I was a kindergarten teacher, we always had a unit studying the life cycle of different insects and animals. We used the Ladybug Land from Insect Lore to teach our students about the life cycle of ladybugs and the kids LOVED it. Captain Fussybuckets has been really into bugs, insects, and butterflies lately, so I knew it was the perfect time to introduce him to the Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore!
We were sent a Butterfly Garden habitat with live Painted Lady live caterpillars to review. The caterpillars came, safe in sound in a little plastic jar (with holes, of course!) and enough food to last them through their journey to becoming a butterfly! The directions say to not remove the lid and to keep the caterpillars out of direct sunlight, so we were careful with the little guys!
They were so tiny when they first arrived!
But they grew more and more each day! Definitely very much like the caterpillar in the boys’ favorite book: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle!
After about a week, the caterpillars went to the top of the jar, where there was a little paper disc attached to the top. They started working on becoming a chrysalis!
One little overachiever was the first to turn into a chrysalis:
The rest soon followed, and it was time to remove them from the plastic jar and fasten the paper disc into the Butterfly Garden, which has mesh sides and a zipper so when they do turn into butterflies, they can’t escape!
We went on a family camping trip for two days, and I decided against taking them with us, because this was such a vital time for them, so I left them some orange juice in case they “hatched” from their chrysalises while we were gone. And sure enough, when we returned, I heard flapping butterfly wings in the Butterfly Garden! The Captain was SO excited and we put them outside to release them! They were slow to leave their home, but within the hour, all five butterflies had flown away. But a couple hung around to make some awesome memories for Captain Fussybuckets first. How beautiful is this butterfly??
So sweet! What a terrific, educational lesson for my boy!
I’ll definitely be buying more caterpillars in the future for our Butterfly Garden because this was such a magical experience!!!
You can purchase your own Butterfly Garden with live caterpillars for $12-$20 at Amazon at Insect Lore! Follow Insect Lore on Facebook and Twitter! While you’re at the Insect Lore site, check out all the other cool stuff they have to offer like a Live Praying Mantis egg case, a free Butterfly Garden app, live silkworm eggs, and much more!