If you love the idea of hands-on learning experiences for your child, butterfly habitats are some of the best options available. Reading about butterflies and their lifecycles in a book is fun, but seeing it all first-hand is a great learning experience. Your child will not only have a fuller appreciation for these beautiful creatures, but will also learn the value of teamwork in caring for the butterflies.
A butterfly habitat comes with everything a child needs to start raising them from caterpillars. The only things not included that kids will need to supply are:
- Some pieces of fruit like orange, banana, or watermelon
- A small bowl.
The cup is a safe place for caterpillars to grow and thrive as long as the temperatures is between 68 and 78 degrees.
Within 5 to 10 days, the caterpillars will go to the chrysalis stage. This is a time that brings about anticipation in kids waiting to see butterflies. While kids will enjoy picking up the cup to see what’s going on, it’s important for them to be gentle.
Once all the caterpillars have entered into the chrysalis stage, it is safe to gently move them into the butterfly habitat according to the instructions. Light misting, as well as keeping the chrysalides out of direct sunlight, helps them develop as normal, healthy butterflies. After the 10th day, kids will have the thrill of seeing butterflies emerge from their cocoons.
It’s important to make sure the butterflies are undisturbed while stretching out their wings for the first time. They’ll start feeding from the sweetened water in the bowl after the first day, as well as pieces of fruit. However, they won’t breed inside the habitat, so a release into the wild is recommended after a few days.
Kids who help raise butterflies are likely to become very interested in learning more about them and nature in general. Our Bay Area Montessori schools are perfect for curious children who like to learn about things hands-on. Contact us to schedule a tour and see what types of exciting things your child can do.