Discover the wonder of nature from inside your home with the Butterfly Garden. This lets you grow caterpillars into butterflies right inside a pop-up mesh habitat, and once the butterflies have grown, you can let them fly free in your backyard.
The kit includes the butterfly habitat, instructions, a feeding dropper, and a voucher to redeem five baby caterpillars. (The caterpillars are free, but there is a $7.95 shipping fee.) Once you go online to redeem the voucher, in about a week, you'll receive the baby caterpillars in the mail. They'll be inside a cup filled with all the nutritious food they need. After another seven to 10 days, they'll become chrysalides and attach themselves to the underside of the cup's lid. Once the chrysalides have hardened, you can remove the lid and place it sideways into the slot in the Chrysalis Station log (which comes in the mail with your baby caterpillars). Place the log inside the butterfly habitat. After another seven to 10 days, painted lady butterflies will emerge from the chrysalides. Your new butterflies will need to be fed, so you can follow the instructions to make nectar out of sugar and water or provide your butterflies with fresh fruit. After a few days of observation, set them free.
Growing butterflies is such a fun lesson in nature and biology. Watching the metamorphosis of the caterpillar is really something, and you can reuse this butterfly habitat to do it over and over again each year. Just purchase more baby caterpillars from the Insect Lore website.
You have to be very gentle when moving the chrysalides to the butterfly habitat, so parents will need to help out with this step, and even then, it can be hard to remove the lid and even zipping up the butterfly habitat is enough force to cause the lid to topple over. Still, we got four butterflies out of five, and it was pretty cool to watch them flutter around for a few days.
The Butterfly Garden is for ages 4 and up with adult supervision.
The caterpillars are free, but you will have to pay a $7.95 shipping fee. Taxes may also apply.
Daytime temperatures in your area must be above 55 degrees before you let the butterflies go.
The instructions mention a butterfly feeder, but this kit does not come with that. You can use a cotton ball or tissue instead.
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