The Life Cycle of a Butterfly
Would you like to teach your child the life cycle of a butterfly by watching the entire process in your home? Each year, we order caterpillars from Insectore. You can purchase their "Live Butterfly Garden" kit for $24.99. It comes with the mesh habitat, caterpillars, food, and a feeding pipette. Once you own the mesh habitat, you can order the refill kit for $15.99. My kids love to watch the process, and they learn new things each time that we do it.
Each year, we have watched the life cycle of a butterfly, and my kids love it. There are a ton of great learning lessons listed on Pinterest and other teaching websites. You could also read books to your children about the process. It is so fun to watch the caterpillars get bigger and bigger each day. When they start to hang out towards the top of the container, you know that they are preparing to form their chrysalis. The hardest part is waiting for your butterflies to emerge, but it's an exciting day when it finally happens. We usually keep our butterflies for a day or two. We celebrate their new adventures by having a butterfly release party.
There are so many teachable moments as you go through this process with your child(ren). My daughter's first birthday party was butterfly themed. We raised 50 caterpillars and released the butterflies at her party. We passed out milkweed seeds as party favors. If you plant milkweed in your yard, you are sure to see lots of caterpillars.
The Butterfly Garden at the Natural Science Museum is a great place to go to see a variety of butterflies. My children have always loved the Butterfly Garden. They have a new appreciation for butterflies after going through the process at home.
There are several places that you can purchase caterpillars. I particularly like to get mine from Insectlore. I have seen specials at Toys R Us where you can "buy one get one half off". The butterfly kits also make a great birthday gift. You can also find them for free in your yard or in the yards of others.
Butterfly Release Parties
Caterpillars in your yard
Houston Museum of Natural Science - Butterfly Garden