As the plants start to bud and blossom and our world starts to look a little greener and brighter. Gone are the cold winter days and the hazy sunshine starts to warm the earth and bring back to life the busy insect world.
With flowers inevitably comes butterflies, but first they need to start their life cycle as eggs and then caterpillars.
The butterfly life cycle is one of the most fascination transformations in nature, and is a wonder to behold to people of all ages.
Usually we don’t get to see the whole process, sure we see furry caterpillars munching their way through spring leaves, and then we see lots of pretty fluttering butterflies a few weeks later, but what happens in between is usually top secret and kept away from prying eyes.
By using live butterfly kits you can witness this compelling metamorphosis up close and personal. The kits are excellent for both homeschool and classroom nature projects, or purely as a lovely thing to do with your children to help them learn about the beauty of nature.
Starting out as young caterpillars the children get to watch the caterpillar slowly fatten up and then hang upside down in their chrysalis ready for the next stage of their amazing journey.
Watching the adult butterflies break free from their chrysalis, wait a moment to dry off, and then finally start to flutter those wings is a fantastic moment to share.
Once the butterflies have matured they can then be released outside if the temperature is over 50º, or kept inside to study further if below 50º.
Whilst you can use live butterfly kits all year round, even in winter, springtime is a fantastic time to rear butterflies as you can release them into your backyard or school garden and watch them pollinate the flowers.
The whole process from small caterpillar to adult butterfly takes around three weeks, with the first stage of caterpillar growing lasting around 7-10 days. In this time your young students can chart their growth through photography, video or drawing and use the internet or library to study different types of caterpillars and butterflies.