Learning About Butterflies – Insect Lore

Learning About ButterfliesWhen I was in 3rd grade our class did a unit on the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. I remember going out with my dad to find Milkweed, and Monarch caterpillars.  We brought them in to school where we watched them eat the milkweed, and then start their incredible metamorphosis! It was amazing and I’ve never forgotten how exciting it was to watch as the went from caterpillar to chrysalis and then to beautiful butterfly.

Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden kit.

I knew I wanted to teach Avery about the life cycle of a butterfly, and when I learned about Insect Lore and their Butterfly kits, I couldn’t wait to order one! However, I did have to wait.  I had to wait until the weather was warmer. Once it was finally Spring here in New England, I ordered the kit, with Live caterpillars, sent to our house.

When the box arrived I was just as excited as I was waaaaaaay back in 3rd grade! Avery was just confused and wondering where her butterflies were.

The Live Caterpillar kit came with everything we needed:

  • Pop-up, reusable mesh habitat
  • Feeding Pipette
  • Complete Live Butterfly Pavilion Instructions
  • Two cups of 10 live caterpillars (5 caterpillars in each cup)
  • Sponges and dishes for the butterfly nectar (sugar water)
  • Stickers and a wind up butterfly, just for fun!



Caterpillars on day one

I read the instructions, and placed our caterpillars in a safe spot, out of direct sunlight, away from any drafts, and high enough that a curious toddler couldn’t reach.

Caterpillars in jars, eating and growing

The caterpillars grew FAST!

Caterpillars climb to the top of the jars to form chrysalids

And in about 10 days, they had climbed up to the top of the jars, and hung in a ‘J’ shape. This meant they’d soon be forming chrysalides!

Chrysalids forming

It was wild! I’d leave the room, then go in and check on them, and they’d have formed their chrysalides!  It would be fascinating to have a camera on them at all times, to watch the magic of nature!

Chrysalids ready to transfer to the butterfly garden

Once they’d all formed, I removed all the silky webbing, and moved them into the butterfly habitat.

Then we waited. And waited. And waited.

About 10 days later, I woke up to a funny sound…I got up and discovered that two of our ten butterflies had emerged and were fluttering around their habitat!!

Butterfly just emerged from chrysalis

That red stuff is meconium, the leftover part of the caterpillar that was not needed to make the butterfly. This is stored in the intestine of the butterfly and is expelled after the butterfly emerges.

It was SO exciting! Avery and I sat and watched two more emerge. 6 the first day, 2 the next day, and the last 2 the following day!

Avery and her Butterflies ready to be released

We watched them for another day, and then decided it was time to release them.

Butterflies inside the Insect Lore butterfly  habitat.

The Painted Lady Butterflies are truly beautiful. We helped them out of the habitat, gently, and most of them were content to sit on our hands for a few minutes before flying off.

Collage photos of a few Painted Lady Butterflies

One of our butterflies has a deformed wing. His Chrysalis was knocked down by one of the other caterpillars, and sadly, while he was emerging, his wing got caught in the chrysalis so it was twisted up at the edge. Since he is not able to fly, we are going to keep him, and continue to feed him fruit and nectar. You can see below, that we let him have a little taste of the outdoors. He sat on Avery’s had, and then got himself up on her head!

Butterfly with a deformed wing

Avery holding a painted lady butterfly. Collage

A Painted Lady Butterfly on Avery's head.

One of the other butterflies we released also landed on Avery! I think they like her!

Butterfly in a avery's hair

This one hung out for awhile as I took photos.

Butterfly in girls hair

I’m so glad I ordered this kit for Avery and myself. It was so much fun to show her, and for me to experience again.

Painted Lady Butterfly

I am definitely going to order another kit from Insect Lore. Possibly the Ladybug kit or the Praying Mantis egg!!

I’d love to order another butterfly kit! You can order the kit with live caterpillars (If it’s warm enough where you live) or with a certificate to get the caterpillars at a later date (This is great if you’re giving the kit as a gift) They also carry educational toys, and gifts as well as insect habitats, bug catchers, and other fun items!

If you ever have any questions about the products, they have a Live Chat option on the site. I used it to find out what we should do about the butterfly with the deformed wing. I wasn’t sure if we should release him , unable to fly, or keep him in the habitat. Within seconds, my questions were answered. Insect Lore is also great at responding, quickly, to questions and comments through their social media channels!

Close up photos of painted lady butterfliesFor more information about Insect Lore visit their WEBSITE or follow them on: FACEBOOK       TWITTER    &     INSTAGRAM

This post was not sponsored! I was just very impressed with the product and the company and wanted to share our experience!


  1. April says:

    What a great kit! Sharing one of your childhood memories with Avery must have been so special! It’s great there is a company out there who provides kits like this.

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