One of our goals for the summer was to order eggs for our Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden kit so Eliza could raise a butterfly from an egg. Turns out, there was no need, because we had plenty of baby caterpillars in our garden to kidnap! They were very attracted to the dill and the parsley. (Our butterfly was a black swallowtail, which love parsley, carrot, fennel and dill! But we didn’t know that yet.)
Eliza put a caterpillar from the garden into the habitat that came with the kit, and she made sure to give her fresh herbs and water in a shallow dish every day. We new she liked dill and parsley, but she tried a few other sorts of herbs too. She was not a fan of the basil. It was so fun to watch our caterpillar inch around, and the kids really loved seeing how much she ate and how fast she grew, just like in the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
The caterpillar took us by surprise one morning, as she was nowhere to be found. She turned out to be on the roof of her habitat, in her chrysalis! We very gently moved the habitat from Eliza’s room to a high shelf, where there was no chance of being knocked.
About two weeks later, Jake and I checked on her when the kids were with their grandparents and voila–she was a beautiful butterfly! We gave her some apple juice to tide her over for the night so that Eliza could be here to release her. Here’s Eliza’s explnation of raising her butterfly and a video of us releasing her:
Have you ever tried to raise a butterfly? If you have kids in your life, I highly recommend it! It is science at its most beautiful. Older kids can learn in-depth about the lifecycle process and learn responsibility by caring for the butterfly–younger kids will just get excited at the magic!