What's more fun to do in the spring than butterflies? Nothing of course! It's so engaging and so full of opportunities for reading and writing that it really makes for a favorite unit amongst teachers and students!
Let's start by them arriving. If you use Insect Lore they will arrive in a white envelop and be wrapped in bubble wrap. We checked the mail for DAYS and when they finally came we were so excited! They looked dead when they arrived, but they were actually just dormant (which they go in and out of apparently.)
They come in a cup. Within the cup is everything they need and so there is no need to touch or open the cup. On the bottom is the food and on the lid is a piece of white paper. This white paper is where they will attach to when they become chrysalises. It's very nice that it's on paper because it makes transferring them to your garden super easy!
That's pretty much it. So we wait for 7-10 days. With us it took the full 10 this year! A caterpillar's job is to eat. He will eat, and eat, and eat just like the book says (except it eats caterpillar food.) Here is a picture of about 6 days. You can see just from the picture above they are getting fatter and fatter!
Once they are super fat they will make their way to the top of the cup. This is where they will become chrysalises. They will hang here for about 7-10 days again. This one was about 8 days for us this year. At this point you will want to take them off the lid of the cup and transfer them to the butterfly garden. You just take that white piece of paper and attach it to the lid of the garden. I like to use velcro with the sticky backs because I am afraid that tape won't hold the weight but Insect Lore suggests tape.
One might think watching chrysalises is boring but it can actually be very exciting. One of their defense mechanisms is to shake. Here is a little video I took of our chrysalises!
So 7-10 days later your butterflies hatch! It's very exciting! It can be a little messy though, don't be alarmed if there is blood that appears on your net as they open their wings. (You can see it on some of the floral print.) To care for your butterflies you can put in water and I like to put a piece of fruit or flowers. I like to put a plate at the bottom or a lit to put the water in. Something shallow for them be able to reach.
That's pretty much it! Literally anyone can do it because there is not a whole lot of touching things involved. (Last year I ordered the frog kit... read that you had to give them live crickets after the purchase. Needless to say I was happy they came dead (but a little sad for them and my own kinder who was looking forward to it.)
I made this Butterfly Lifecycle Interactive Learning Journal to go along with it. It takes the kids through the process with activities and then has a journal at the end to record what exactly is happening day by day. Click here to check it out.
I also made a fun freebie to go along with it for you. So download the preview for your Parts of a Butterfly activity!
And now for the Giveaway! I am going to giveaway one Insect Lore Butterfly Garden so you can do this with your little learners!
Please head on over to enter to win your very own Butterfly Garden! Click here!