Caterpillars to Butterflies is a magical learning experience for children of all ages and The Early Years Shop is delighted to announce the return of the very popular Insect Lore Butterfly Garden for Children! This product was very popular with both services and families during our first lockdown in 2020. It is a low-cost educational kit for raising butterflies from caterpillars. It is a great learning experience for young children as they get the opportunity to observe and think about change (metamorphosis) and the passing of time.
If you are looking to explore the theme of Metamorphosis with your class then this product is a brilliant addition to your learning material. Butterflies are beautiful and gentle bugs and their metamorphosis is a wonderful experience for children of all ages. The children will get to experience seeing caterpillars change into chrysalides before emerging as beautiful Painted Lady Butterflies. They will then raise and feed their butterflies before releasing them into the wild!
Stories about Butterflies
Many children at preschool age will already be familiar with the famous children’s book ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. The book tells the story of a very small egg that emerges into a hungry caterpillar. The caterpillar sets off one day and eats his way through much food until he becomes full. He became big from all the food and then built himself a cocoon where he stayed for a number of days before emerging as a beautiful butterfly. Telling the story of the Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great place to begin your Metamorphosis theme.
Caterpillars to Butterflies – The Circle of Life
After telling a story you can explain what the 4 phases of the butterfly’s life cycle is. Talk to the children about the term ‘Life Cycle’. These four phases apply to many other insects also including moths, ladybirds, flies, ants, bees and wasps. Therefore, if you wish to extend the learning to other insects they will already be familiar with the Life Cycle process. Learning about the Life Cycle is not just important to understanding metamorphosis but also for general life science.
Introduce The Insect Lore Butterfly Garden!
Once you have learned a bit about the caterpillars and butterflies, you can introduce the children to the Butterfly Garden. Explain that there are 3-5 caterpillars in the tub. The caterpillars will eat all the food provided until they get big (up to 10 times their original size).
Once the caterpillars are ready they will then hang themselves upside down and harden into chrysalides. They will then be moved to the butterfly net where they emerge into butterflies. The children will then be able to feed the butterflies until they are ready to be released! The whole process takes approx. 3-4 weeks. This is a highly recommended product and a wonderful activity for adults and children alike!