When my second daughter was born in early May, 7 years ago, I was greeted by dozens of butterflies in our yard the day we brought her home. Somehow, a butterfly ended up in the house and I was too afraid I would hurt it, so it lingered until I was able to coax it out of a window. Ironically, it happened again a few days later. I felt a strong connection to her birth and butterflies, and nicknamed her my little butterfly. She likes to tell the story to friends and family every chance she gets, even though she doesn’t remember the experience first hand.
Her first year in school, I grew close with her teachers and donated an Insect Lore Butterfly kit to their classroom. We had previously purchased them to use at home, and I felt it was a great age-appropriate educational tool. They even incorporated Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar as part of their graduation ceremony! Since that year, her school has adopted the practice of teaching the life cycle with Insect Lore, and my son’s teacher ordered a few sets to use in her own classroom.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Eric Carle is still one of our favorite books on rotation in our home. When I found out that Insect Lore was celebrating another year of educating families with The Very Hungry Caterpillar Butterfly Growing Kit, I knew my kids would absolutely love it. This set includes everything that the original Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit includes, but it has images of the popular storybook on the habitat.
Our teeny tiny caterpillars grew and were more than double their initial size within days. They created their chrysalises but unfortunately, a few of them didn’t crawl back up to the top before making them, so they formed on the bottom of the included cup. This has happened to us once before, and we simply scooped them up with a plastic spoon and placed them on a paper towel when it was time to transfer them to the habitat. This didn’t affect their growth at all, and they still hatched successfully. It’s not a pretty sight, but I included a picture below in case someone else shares this experience and isn’t sure what to do if the caterpillars haven’t climbed to the top to make their cocoon.
After a few days of observing our new friends, feeding them sweet water and fruit, it was time to let them go. Our Painted Lady butterflies made their way into our yard and we like to think they come back and visit every time we see painted lady butterflies in the yard.
You can get the new Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar set from Insect Lore, along with their original set and other fun kits. We’ve personally tried the Praying Mantis and Lady Bug kits, but the Caterpillar set remains our favorite! Check out our video on Instagram when we released the butterflies!