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Monday, May 3, 2010


A week ago Friday, we got our box of caterpillars in the mail.

Yes- you read that correctly.

We got caterpillars in the mail.

I got the idea to order our own caterpillars from Children's Learning Activities. I loved it as soon as I read about it....and ordered the caterpillar kit the next day. (I ordered my kit from here. They guarantee that 3 of the 5 caterpillars in your kit will become butterflies. And as of now....all 5 of ours have made it into their chrysalis.)

This is what the box looked like.

Parker was so excited (even though you cannot tell from this picture) about her 'catapillers.' I know she didn't really know what we were talking about...but to her....this box was a present.
Now here is some visible excitement....

And here are (were) our caterpillars. So tiny.

Geoff and Parker sat down with some Dr. Pepper (Yes- our 2 year old loves Dr. Pepper and we really only give her an ounce in a sitting....and not very often. Poor kid loves the stuff like her momma.) to read the directions.
And now...taking some pictures with her caterpillars.

The kit came with all of the stuff you will need....a mister, cotton for the sugar water (that they eat after they become a butterfly), and the butterfly net (that is next time we only have to order the caterpillars and it's much cheaper). And another thing that I really like about these kits is that they stay in their little container that they come in for the entire time they are caterpillars! So no touching of the caterpillars!!
They are already chrysalides now....and I'm thinking we will have butterflies by the end of the week (hoping we'll get to experience at least one 'being born').

We have done several caterpillar and butterfly crafts and activities that I'll post in a different post...seeing as how this post is already so long. We also went to the library and checked out some butterfly and caterpillar books (which I will also talk about later).

We have had so much fun doing this 'learning project' with Parker (and honestly- I think we have enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than she has!). Everyday we looked at the caterpillars to see how big they were...and how they 'kept eating and eating and eating'....just like in Eric Carl's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We've all learned a lot.

You know...I have set back and marveled at this miraculous insect that, literally, morphs.

And I've been amazed by it.

And it makes the miracle of life that much more unfathomable to me.


And although I am not quite sure the depth of Parker's understanding....she can tell me that the caterpillars become 'kiss-uh-lisses' (chrysalis)....and that the 'kiss-uh-liss' will become a 'butt-uh-fwy.'


Kristin said...

That's cool! So neat ya'll can do this fun stuff with her!!

Kelli @ Our Growing Family said...

I am such a ding bat!

We bought caterpillar kits every year that I taught 2nd grade. The kids and I LOVED it! I have often thought about doing this with the boys, but thought since I couldn't get a kit, we would have to go on a caterpillar hunt. But then I wouldn't have the food that comes with the kit....and what if they died because I didn't do something I was supposed to, I added it to my "maybe next year" file in my head.

Why didn't I think about ordering the kit?! We ordered larger quantities when I taught 2nd grade, but it never crossed my mind to do it on a smaller scale with the boys.

Snider Family said...

Once again your creativity has amazed me! I need to go through your blog and find out what you did with Parker when she was Reagan's age. Great idea!

Kat said...

That's awesome! I totally had forgotten that you could buy kits! Thanks for reminding me :-) We are totally going to do this now. Every summer our museum creates a butterfly house and Maddie is always enthralled by them. So she will love doing this activity at home. I hope you get to see the butterflies emerge! Parker would love that!

Oh, and I guess it will have instructions on the kit, but what happens to the butterflies, do you release them? Are they species that are able to survive on their own?

Marla said...

Kat- the kit says that the butterflies should live approximately 2-4 weeks. They advise you to observe them for a few days and then release them (as long as it is greater than 50 degrees F, if not, then just keep them in the net) into the environment so that they can complete their life cycle by laying eggs.

Milstead said...

I just have to tell you this -- we were watching Nickelodeon and the commercial for this kit came on and Matt started saying, "That's so cool! I want that!!!" I pulled up your blog and showed him and he was screaming, "That's it!! That's the same thing!!!" So we may be owning a caterpillar farm soon...and NO, we don't have a child. And yes, he is 27 years old.


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