Welcome to a new review of the fabulous Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden kit.
We’ve been having a lot of fun over the last couple of weeks reviewing the Live Butterfly Garden. What a brilliant nature project to do with the kids!
The Butterfly Garden arrives in the post in a really nicely presented box. When the children opened it they were so surprised and excited – it would make a lovely gift.
Inside the box is everything you need to hatch 5 painted lady butterflies. Depending on which option you choose, you either get a little pot containing 5 live caterpillars, or a voucher to redeem for the caterpillars when it suits you. You also get a pop-up habitat, a little pipette for feeding nectar to your butterflies, and full instructions on what to do.
Your caterpillars have their own food supply in their pot, so all you need to do is watch them eat and grow – and boy do they know how to eat! When ours arrived they were around 2cm long but in just a few days they were huge! Watching them grow almost before your eyes was so fascinating.
Once the caterpillars had grown big enough they each turned into a chrysalis, hanging from the top of the pot.
The children were a bit worried about the slowcoach who took longer to do this, but he was fine in the end. At this stage you transfer the chrysalides to the habitat, where they can hatch into butterflies; I was a little nervous about doing this but it all went smoothly, it’s important to wait until they have fully hardened before moving them to avoid any damage.
And then it was a waiting game; we all became completely hooked on checking our little visitors.
The butterflies take 7-14 days to hatch, ours took about 7 days. The first one decided to pop out while we were on the school run and the children were completely amazed to come home to a butterfly.
After that we never took our eyes off the habitat! We managed to witness two butterflies emerging from their chrysalis, it’s amazing to watch and happens so much quicker than I was expecting.
Once your butterflies have emerged and their wings have hardened you can decorate their habitat with twigs, leaves and flowers, and feed them with nectar (sugar water) or pieces of fruit. This is a lovely activity for the children and a great opportunity to observe your butterflies uncurling their long feeding tubes to suck up the nectar.
Insect Lore advise you to set your butterflies free after 2-3 days. One of ours hung around with us for a while after leaving the habitat – just magical to watch.
We had such a great experience with the Live Butterfly Garden. Being able to witness a life cycle in such a fun, easy way was fantastic for the kids – and the adults too actually. We learned all about life cycles and caring for creatures, and we had a lovely family experience in the process.
The Butterfly Garden would make a great gift or a brilliant activity when you’re at home during the school holidays. It costs £20 from Insect Lore.