Learn about butterflies with the EXPLORE Bug Catcher
Option #1: Raising Butterflies
If you’re creating a lesson about the life cycle of butterflies, we recommend using a kit like this one to get started. This kit includes a caterpillar habitat, butterfly habitat, mister, eye dropper, butterfly feeder with sugar, and a coloring page. Also included are comprehensive instructions and very friendly phone and email customer service!
Our Butterfly experience:
We ordered a Painted Lady Butterfly Kit from Nature's Gifts. The caterpillars arrived quickly in their habitat. At first, they were the size of a grain of rice! After the first few days, the caterpillars started to move and double in size. It was fascinating to watch this happen so quickly! They then crawled to the top of the habitat to make their chrysalises. After 24 hours when the chrysalises had hardened, we gently moved them to the butterfly habitat. In about 8 days, the butterflies emerged! We fed them sugar water with the butterfly feeder provided and added extra fruit and flowers.
After a few days of observation and allowing their wings to grow stronger in the habitat, we moved each butterfly to an EXPLORE Mason Jar Bug Catcher. We were then ready to head over to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum to spend the afternoon teaching and releasing!
What was great about using the EXPLORE for the learning and release is that each child can have a hands-on, up-close experience. The EXPLORE’s magnifying lid with breathing holes flips open and allows butterflies to be easily viewed and released. The lightweight and flexible jar with carrying handle makes it convenient for little hands to carry and use. The EXPLORE also comes with an activity page and downloadable lap book that you can use to augment your lesson plans. You can view our day of discovery and butterfly release in the video above!
TIP: Cut up some cantaloupe for the butterflies to feed on and add to each jar. The butterflies will want to stick around longer after you release them!
Option #2: Catching Butterflies
If you don’t have time to raise caterpillars, catching butterflies the old-fashioned way with your little ones is also fun! You’ll need to purchase a net to catch them, or you can make a DIY net (instructions here). Your best bet for capturing them is while they are feeding on flowers late in the day or early morning. Make sure to tell your kids to be gentle, because butterflies are very delicate. We recommend helping your little one to carefully transfer them to the EXPLORE jar for observation. (Kids often try to grab the butterflies by their wings. It’s important to “cup” them in your hands rather than pinching their wings.) Try to handle them as little as possible, and be sure to add some branches or flowers into the jar so your butterflies have items to climb on.
TIP: Wonder what butterfly you’ve caught or where to find them? See the chart below to help identify species of butterflies and their favorite plants.
Ready to start EXPLORIN'? Get ready, get inspired, and get a butterfly kit and EXPLORE Bug Catcher today.
Wonder what species of butterfly you’ve caught or where to find them? See the chart below to help identify species of butterflies and their favorite plants.