Butterflies

Eby got some very neat gifts for his birthday including this one that has provided days of learning and enjoyment, a Live Butterfly Garden.  First there was the anticipation of waiting for the caterpillars to arrive – just getting mail is exciting when you are six, but mail with wriggling caterpillars is even better. The slightly gross factor was another benefit for Eby, and the girls didn’t mind it either.

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The caterpillars ate the food in the container they arrived in and eventually climbed to the lid, hung upside down, and formed chrysalides (yes, that is the plural of “chrysalis” – I even googled it to be sure).  Once they had all formed, we opened the container, removed the liner of the lid and pinned it to the inside of the mesh Butterfly Garden.

Then we waited, checking every day for signs of butterflies.  The chrysalides grew darker in color, then Wednesday morning we woke to find a Painted Lady butterfly.  By Thursday night four butterflies had emerged.  We were especially excited to watch one as it was coming out of the chrysalis with its wings all soft and curled up.

The kids got the magnifying glass to take closer looks and dug out some books on butterflies, including a nature study book we read last winter. Best of all, Eby and Sunshine did some great drawings in their nature journals.

I love seeing my children learn this way. Nearly 18 years ago, when we lived in Ithaca, NY, a friend found some monarch eggs on the milkweed growing near our home. She picked the long stems, put them in a canning jar, and placed it on our dining room table. It was a phenomenal learning experience for all of us as the eggs became caterpillars that grew and grew, then formed emerald green chrysalides,  and finally resulted in butterflies.

If you live where you have access to milkweed (and monarchs), I suggest you give this a try. If not, give a Butterfly Garden to your children – it was $15 well spent at our house. Just so you aren’t surprised, there is also a $5 fee to have the caterpillars shipped to you. The good news is that you can repeat the experience by just ordering more caterpillars.

Now the kids are asking for Ladybug Land and I just might order it.

If you haven’t had a chance to answer the Tuesday Topic: Meeting Your Child for the First Time, it isn’t too late.  We would love your input!


Have a great day, and keep an eye out for butterflies.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Ann Marie
    June 2, 2011

    We did this too and the kids loved it!!

    Reply
  2. Heather
    June 2, 2011

    Thanks so much for the wonderful ideas!!! I have some Amazon.com credit and will look to purchase this next! Thanks too for your blog..I read all the time 🙂

    Heather (mom to 6Cs…3 from the wonderful country of South Korea)

    Reply
  3. Dawn
    June 2, 2011

    Looks like lots of learning fun!!!!

    Reply
  4. Sharon Wheeless
    June 2, 2011

    We did this last fall and Evey got a huge kick out of it!

    Reply
  5. KtB
    June 2, 2011

    I'm so getting this, once we have a house. Thanks!

    Reply
  6. Heidi
    June 2, 2011

    The glow in the dark aunt farm is awesome too! 🙂

    Reply
  7. shannon2818
    June 2, 2011

    Cute idea!

    Reply
  8. Phyllis
    June 3, 2011

    Oh, our butterflies just came out on Tuesday! I was a little late getting ours pinned to the side (frankly, because I was scared I would hurt them), so Tuesday morning I decided that I needed to get that done. Dima turned and started shouting excitedly "There's a butterfly!" So I just wound up putting the last 4 on the bottom of the 'garden'. That was because one started squirming when I touched it! : o
    We also have a praying mantis egg case that we are watching. We should get 100 of them. lol

    I thought I would let you know that my husband and I signed up for the ETC conference in Nashville. We are looking forward to it. I would not have known if you had not blogged about it. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Jennifer
    June 3, 2011

    Ithaca misses you!

    Reply
  10. Sara
    June 17, 2011

    We loved the butterfly garden too! We also got the ladybug land and were pretty disappointed. After a while we thought the larvae were dead, then we saw a few new ladybugs crawling around but it was not nearly as impressive as the butterflies.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      June 17, 2011

      Thanks for letting me know. I haven't ordered it yet, and I don't think I will now. The Butterfly Garden was great. I think I'm ready to move on to tadpoles from our neighbor's pond.

      Reply

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