Family Project : Raising a Butterfly!
[Our baby caterpillars. Super tiny creatures that produced big poops!]
Believe it or not, we raised a butterfly!
And. It’s just AMAZING to observe the whole process, to see a teeny weeny baby caterpillar change into a beautiful butterfly.
Totally made us amazed at nature and how our God created all amazing things, big and small!
[Baby caterpillars eat and eat and EAT. Within a week, they get so many times bigger than when we found them! One of them didn't make it though. Somehow the lower part of its body broke off and it eventually died]
I really recommend this ‘project’ to families!
Because it’s not just letting the kids observe and learn.
It’s more about seeing it all happen in front of your very eyes, experiencing the awesomeness yourself, while at the same time, observe the metamorphosis, step by step.
And of course, experiencing the ‘letting go off the butterfly’ in the end.
(The experience of raising something since it’s so little, seeing it grow and learning to let it go)
It’s a simple experience that you’ll remember for sure!
[Amazing how our caterpillar turned into this! And how it's hanging by the thread it itself made!]
Okay, let me write down what we did and learned, point by point :
1. A friend of ours found two caterpillars on a lime tree
2. You need to feed the caterpillar with leaves. They’ll only want to eat the leaves taken from the very same tree you found them!
3. Baby caterpillars eat and eat and EAT. Like, seriously, they just kept on eating, and pooping! I threw away the poops once a day.
[Awesome process and result!]
4. We placed the caterpillars in a plastic jar and we made big holes on the lid so air can enter. We placed the jar outside (no direct sunlight though), and sometimes, indoors.
- Caterpillars climb, and it’s possible that they climb OUT. Best if the jar is lined with a gauze pad or something, tightened with a rubber band at the top.
5. One of them didn’t make it though =(
6. After 10 days, our caterpillar (named CATIE by the kids!) turned into a chrysalis. I was amazed at the thin string it made! The ‘string’ kept the chrysalis hanging steadily!
Btw, do you the difference between a Chrysalis, a Cocoon and a Pupa?
Here’s a helpful definition:
A Pupa is a life stage that some insects go through, between the larva and adult stages.
A Chrysalis is the name of a Moth or Butterfly (Lepidoptera) pupa.
A Cocoon is a protective covering around the Pupae or Chrysalis of some insects.
(Click HERE to find out the difference between CHRYSALIS, COCOON and PUPA!)
7. Within 9 days,we found an empty cocoon! Amazing how it’s become semi-transparent!
8. The new butterfly didn’t quite flap its wings at first. I left it at home (still within the jar, untouched), and when we came back 4 hours later, it’s already flapping its wings quite vigorously from time to time!
9. And so we opened the lid, to allow it to fly out on its own. The kids gently held their arms out, hoping that the butterfly would hop onto their hands.
[Beauuuuutiful creation! And to think that it used to be a teeny weeny baby caterpillar about 1 cm long? Amazing!]
10. Our butterfly apparently was not interested in human hands! =D It flew and landed near the kids’ book shelf, before flying out and away a minute later.
The kids were a little sad that they didn’t get to spend more time with the butterfly before it flew off. They said how they wished they could keep the butterfly inside the jar.
I then explained to them that once it has become a butterfly, it’s meant to fly out in the open. We shouldn’t keep it in a jar “just because we want to”.
They kinda understood. I think.
Ah, so there you go.
That’s our little journey of raising a butterfly at home =)
Our very first time.
And somehow, I have a feeling that it won’t be the last =)
Do go ahead and try this out yourself yeah!
[Love how it turns out so beautifully!]