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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Butterlies Galore

Releasing the Butterflies
When it comes to Christmas gifts, I'm always looking for a few educational gifts to throw in the mix of the coveted video games and Barbies. So I was thrilled to find Insect Lore's Live Butterfly Garden. The complete kit includes a voucher to redeem your live cup of caterpillars when you are ready to raise and release them for $19.99 on Amazon. However, I did see one on clearance at Toys R Us last season for $10!

Because this was a Christmas gift, we set this aside and had something to look forward to come spring. In March, I ordered our live caterpillars and the kids and I had a discussion on the life cycle of the butterfly. I printed off a free butterfly life cycle poster I found on Pinterest for the girls so they had a visual. We then made butterflies out of coffee filters painted with watercolor and tied together using pipe cleaners. There are so many cute and crafty butterfly projects you can do with this lesson. Just look on Pinterest for more ideas.

Our caterpillars arrived all ready to go. All we needed to do was set the cups out of direct sunlight and away from our curious cats! The fireplace mantle worked well for this.


The caterpillars crawled around for about eight days.

On day eight the caterpillars started turning into chrysalis'

We had one caterpillar that was very late turning in a chrysalis and was the only one that did not survive.
Once all the caterpillars turned into chrysalis' we transferred them (attached to the paper at the top of their cup) to the butterfly habitat. I pinned the paper to the side of the habitat and we waited.

They are hatching!

After about nine days in the chrysalis form our first two butterflies hatched! The rest  hatched over the next two days. We put fresh watermelon, tangerines, and a paper towel soaked in sugar water for them to eat. After observing the butterflies for a few days and making sure it was warm enough (above 55 degrees) we took the butterflies outside and released them.

They landed on our hands and shoulders for a few minutes before taking off into the wild




This year we are working on making a butterfly garden, planting milkweed and other flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Pictures to come as the kids are in charge of this garden.


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2 comments:

  1. I love this project and always wondered exactly how it worked. Great step-by-step instruction! How exciting for the kids!

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  2. What a wonderful project and I know the kids had a blast! Amara has done this at least twice and kids never outgrow the amazement of Mother Nature. So glad you're back!

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