Spring time FUN–a LIVE butterfly garden!

23 Apr

I’ve been posting some heavy things ’round here this past week. Thanks to everyone who contacted, supported and encouraged me as I shared about my experiences with postpartum depression. So, moving on from heavy things…to some fun, fun things–like watching caterpillars transform into butterflies!

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My boys got the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden for Christmas last year. We couldn’t wait for the dreariness of winter to pass! We were eager for spring’s arrival so that we could order our caterpillars and witness God’s amazing process of metamorphosis–from caterpillar to butterfly.  Our adventure with the caterpillars and then butterflies was astounding! To read in a book about the process of a caterpillar being transformed into a butterfly is one thing (and thank you Eric Carle for writing one of our favorite books about that!), but being an eyewitness to this wonder-filled, jaw-dropping, marvelous process was worth every penny. I don’t know who enjoyed it more–the boys or me!

When you buy the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden, you receive a butterfly tower as well as a coupon/voucher for FREE CATERPILLARS! You just mail in the coupon and a few days later, your caterpillars arrive in your mailbox. I kid you not! As I got our sweet little caterpillars out of the mailbox, visions of car-sick caterpillars   danced in my head. Seriously, did you ever think it possible to receive LIVE CATERPILLARS in your mailbox?!?!? Anyway, I digress….

The caterpillars arrive with instructions (don’t you wish babies did?!?!?), which we followed. Being the good students that they were, the caterpillars did everything they were instructed to do via the instructions. We watched them eat, eat, and eat some more, spin their cocoons, and then wait while being transformed inside. One by one they “hatched” out of their cocoons (is “hatched” the correct terminology?) and present themselves as amazing butterflies! My boys truly marveled at the process (and their mother did too!). We got quite attached to the butterflies and kept them for about a week before letting them go. We were all very sad to see them go, but it was time.
IMG_3204Son #1 prepares to let them go! I don’t know how I managed to take this pictue AND dry my eyes with my kleenex. Sad to see our little “children” go. (If I’m this emotional over butterflies, what am I going to be like when my sons go to college?!?! Again, I digress…)

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All of the butterflies–save one–quickly vanished when their dreams of freedom were realized with the unzipping of the butterfly garden. This was our BFF butterfly that stuck around for a while after we granted the butterflies independence. I love that he didn’t want to leave us. 🙂 He even sat on Son #1’s hand for a while. Precious.

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So, if you’re looking for a fun family activity to tackle this spring, my vote would be grow-your-own-butterflies! Our entire family enjoyed watching part of the butterfly’s life cycle before our very eyes and in the comfort of our own home. There are a million ways to use this activity for homeschooling or general learning-at-home with your children. You can study the life cycle of a butterfly and read a plethora of books about butterflies. The exciting climax of your butterfly study can be this real-life science experience! After our caterpillars arrived, I had the boys draw a picture each day of what they observed about the caterpillars. My boys enjoyed the opportunity to draw, and Mommy loved that they were honing their #1 required skill of science–observation. 

The Insect Lore Butterfly Garden was truly a win-win for our whole family! It was a memorable, entertaining experience. My boys didn’t realize that they were learning (for school purposes), which is always a homeschooling mom’s delight. We will probably do this each spring for the next several years. Also, if you have little kiddos in your life, this would make an excellent GIFT! (As a parent, wouldn’t you rather your kiddo receive this instead of their 100th baby doll or Lego set?!?!)

Now, to stop writing and to start ordering caterpillars! I need to order our 2013 crop of caterpillars so that we can do this again. 🙂 I apologize in advance, little caterpillars, that you’ll have to make the trek across the U.S. to my house. I hope that you’ll not be nauseated, car-sick, and (most of all) bitter towards me since I’m the reason you’re being transported cross-country.

Would love to see pictures if your family decides to do this fun little science project at home! Enjoy!

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5 Responses to “Spring time FUN–a LIVE butterfly garden!”

  1. mummyshymz April 24, 2013 at 3:53 am #

    It’s a fantastic activity to do with the kids 🙂 I did something similar (the caterpillars were not so nicely packaged though) https://mummyshymz.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/project-butterfly/

    • Suzanne Shares April 28, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      I LOVED reading your post about your experience! Your caterpillars and butterflies were BEAUTIFUL! The variety that ours were wasn’t the most beautiful, but we had lots of fun with it! 🙂 Looks like you guys did too! Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting!

      • mummyshymz April 29, 2013 at 2:13 am #

        Thank you 🙂 it was an amazing experience for all of us. Looking forward to your next posts!

  2. literatelibran April 25, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    I’ve been eyeing that kit and was unsure whether to get it – I used to gather caterpillars and keep them in buckets! This looks like an awesome set, and you seem to have really enjoyed it.

    • Suzanne Shares April 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, reading and commenting! This is a GREAT kit! I can’t recommend it enough! Come back and let me know if you try it and how you liked it! 🙂

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