When I was a little girl, we'd constantly play in the vacant field next door and return home with monarch caterpillars and milkweed. We'd put them in jars and watch the whole process from caterpillar to pupa to gorgeous butterfly. Absolute magic.
Unable to duplicate that naturally for my children, I sought help from a company I've heard great things about for a long time--Insect Lore. They sent some Painted Lady caterpillars our way last month, and I could not be more excited to show you the wonder that followed.
One afternoon a delivery man rang our doorbell and the children (including cousin Mary) were so excited, they plopped right down on the porch to open our caterpillar package.
For a week we kept our eyes on the culture cup and watched the caterpillars change from tiny to plump (Eric Carle wasn't kidding!).
Insect Lore suggests you plan your butterfly hatching experience around any sort of vacations or things that would disrupt the process, but we had some necessary travel come up, so into the car went our pupas! They drove all the way to Grandma's house in Utah with us and began hatching within the first couple days of our stay there. It was so exciting to wake the boys up in the morning with the news, "The first butterfly is out!"
After a couple of days of admiring our Painted Ladies in their garden, we knew it was time to release them to the wild.
Lucky for us, Grandma's neighbors have a butterfly bush, a perfectly fitting home, we thought.
It was hard to say goodbye, but we did it!
Sincerely, I cannot think of an educational experience I've loved more with my children. We had weeks of magic with this activity! At Bloom we try to focus on making our lives and our children's lives more meaningful. This is just the sort of thing that fulfills that goal so well that I want to shout it from the rooftops!
P.S There are a lot of great products available at Insect Lore. Find exactly what we used here.