Not-so-recently, we gave one of Miss P's friends a butterfly kit from Insect Lore for her birthday. I went ahead and bought two. Here's the story of growing butterflies.
The larva, what looked like tiny, skinny caterpillars, arrived in this cup.
The food was supplied on the bottom, and there were itty-bitty holes in the lid. All we were supposed to do was not disturb the cup or put it in direct sunlight.
After a week or so, those caterpillars started getting fat.
And then, one at a time, they form cocoons, or crystalists, on the underside of the lid. (There was a piece of paper they could attach to.)
They were unexpectedly pretty with their metallic gold color.
One of the caterpillars formed its crystalist on the bottom.
After they were all crystalists, we took out the paper they were formed on and pinned it to the side of the included butterfly habitat.
The one that never made it to top of the cup was placed in the habitat. I'll give you the bad news: This little one never did make it out.
They all lived peacefully in the habitat for a week or two.
Until one day, I glanced over to noticed this butterfly!
It "hatched" so silently. It was amazing what took place right under our noses, and we didn't even notice!
At first the butterflies were brown and moth-like. But after a day or two of drink the nectar - a homemade mix of water and sugar soaked into a wadded up tissue - they began to take on more color.
And they became more active.
And they left behind a yucky mess of dried cocoon.
After all three blossomed and we were convinced the fourth wasn't coming out, we got to release the butterflies!
This one didn't want to leave it's cozy habitat.
Miss P worked hard to coax it to go see it's "mommy." (Too much Dora the Explorer where all the animals want to get to their mamas.)
Seriously, butterfly. Go see your mama.
"He won't go, Dad!"
Good opportunity to take a pic of it's pretty wings and marvel at what God allowed us to grow and witness.
But eventually, it did fly away to survive the hot, Texas summer. For $20, this was a great experience, and I highly recommend it for all ages - even moms and dads.