Moms, you’ll do a lot of really great things this summer. I’m sure most of you have a bucket list full of swimming lessons, camp, and outdoor fun. I’m here to challenge you to think outside the box and find your inner science geek. Growing butterflies is easy — you’re really just raising caterpillars and all they do is eat! You can purchase a cup of caterpillars from www.insectlore.com
FYI: This week is pollinator week and you can get free seeds with any purchase with promo code SEEDS. Also, make sure to visit www.retailmenot.com to search for promo codes. There have been some free butterfly larvae coupon codes recently!
I know what you’re thinking — I promise it’s not messy. These caterpillars are self-sufficient and watching metamorphosis happen in action is really amazing.
First, you’ll just watch your caterpillars. Keep them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. (A shelf in the living room is just fine!) For several days, they will eat and get fatter. This is a great lesson in patience. The caterpillar eats, molts, and then at just the right time, it knows what to do. No assistance necessary. When they’re ready to make their chrysalis, they will crawl to the top of the cup and hang upside down. This is my favorite time to give drawing and writing prompts to spark their creativity. How long do you think it will take the butterfly to emerge? How does the caterpillar change in such a small space? What would life be like if people changed like butterflies? Why does the caterpillar eat so much? What do you think it will look like? How does the caterpillar know exactly what to do?
This is a great teaching moment for the kids. At this stage, the caterpillar digests itself and turns into a liquid, or as I tell my kindergartners, butterfly soup. It’s really incredible how a caterpillar can digest itself into goop and come out as a beautiful, symmetrical butterfly. If you’re lucky and you’re watching closely enough, you’ll get to see one emerge.