I have always wanted to try out a butterfly kit, from the first time I heard it was a thing I have been keen to experience this with the children.
When I received the kit from Interplay there was a little bit of time before we received the caterpillars in the post as they are sold separately, but I was so excited when they arrived, more so than the girls I think!
I was a little worried that the caterpillars hadn’t quite made the journey as none of them moved for a good few minutes when I took them out of the packaging, but once they had been sat on the coffee table for a little while they started to come to life, I was relieved to say the least. And so began our rather emotional journey with our new caterpillar friends. I instantly felt a sense of responsibility for them.
All we had to do for the first week or so was make sure the caterpillars were safe in their little plastic home, they seemed very happy chomping through the ready made food included in their container, I know where the Very Hungry Caterpillar story comes from now, they really do eat, they hardly ever stopped.
Over time the inevitable happened and they turned into little J shaped objects hanging from the lid and then into chrysalis’. We were fascinated with the whole process and were reading and learning about it together the whole time, the classic Eric Carle book may have been dug out and read a few times at bed time as well, even though my girls seemed to grow out of it years ago.
So we placed the little chrysalis’ to the top of the really lovely cage/ world and waited, and waited and waited.
Every day there were questions about how long it will take, what day will they emerge and what will they look like, and that was just me Googling and waiting! Sadly one of them fell to the bottom of the container and it was one of the first to emerge, it was a sad thing to see and the girls were a little concerned, but we talked about nature and that sometimes things like that happen, I then placed it near where our friendly neighbourhood hedgehog seems to live so that it wasn’t a waste.
Then there were four, and the weather took a nose dive, it turned pretty cold and I think that had something to do with the end result here.
One only half emerged sadly, I did a lot of research into if I could help the poor thing but alas it wasn’t meant to be, one didn’t emerge at all and then we ended up with two fully emerged butterflies, one of which started to come out when we had to go to a party which was really bad timing, and I am sure one was flying around with a bit of the chrysalis stuck to it’s back, but I am no expert! The children were very excited and we had a lovely time learning all about the process together and they loved talking about their butterfly world with their friends in school. There was plenty of information and clear instructions with the Butterfly World from Nick Baker, it had some lovely information and pointers that would help lead a discussion about butterflies and how they grow.
“He built a small house, called a cocoon, around himself. He stayed inside for more than two weeks. Then he nibbled a hole in the cocoon, pushed his way out and…
he was a beautiful butterfly!”
– Eric Carle, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
When it was time to let the little butterflies go we took them to the garden and they sat a while on our lettuce and rocket plants before flying away. My eldest daughter even got to hold one on her finger and was very happy about that! Eventually they fluttered away *sniff*. As it was something I had always wanted to experience with my girls this was a great opportunity for us.
As for the pop up ‘world’ that the little butterflies lived in for a short while, it was incredibly sturdy and a lot better quality than I expected, the instructions for both the world and the caterpillars were incredibly clear and well laid out and the interesting to read and overall the kit we received was great.
One of our cats decided to get in on the action after we had let the little butterflies go, silly thing!
*Disclaimer- We were sent the Butterfly World by Interplay (and caterpillars) for the purpose of this honest review.