Live Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore
DUNWOODY, GA -- Five year-old Blake and his three year-old brother, Beau, love getting out to play in the yard. Their mom, our own Jennifer Leslie, is glad to see them so active but sometimes she likes to engage their minds as well.
A small backyard garden that the boys helped plant lets them see where our food comes from - a real hands on learning experience.
"Watermelons and pumpkins," said Blake pointing at the growing plants.
The Live Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore promises to let kids experience one of nature's miracles - the transformation of a larvae to a beautiful butterfly.
After seeing the TV commercial, the boy's grandmother ordered the kit that costs $30 plus another ten bucks for shipping. There's also a smaller $20 kit.
In less than a week it arrived - two jars containing nine small caterpillars, a pop up butterfly habitat and complete instructions.
"All of them are moving," said Jennifer.
The food is already in the jar so all Jennifer has to do is put the caterpillars in a safe place out of direct sunlight and watch them grow. In about a week the caterpillars climb to the top of the jar, where they attach themselves for the final transformation.
Then Jennifer moves them into the butterfly habitat.
They might look like cocoons but even Blake knows what they're called.
"A Chrysalis," said Blake.
As this pre-schooler has learned - moths come from cocoons and butterflies come from chrysalis.
Ten days later, the final metamorphosis is complete and the habitat is teeming with nine Painted Lady Butterflies.
"Oh look at their eyes," said Blake. "They're creepy eyes."
"I think its fun," said Jennifer. "It's educational. I enjoyed it probably as much as the boys, maybe a little bit more. But I think we all got something out of it."
After enjoying the butterflies for a couple of days, the boys followed the kit's recommendations and released them into their yard. As each butterfly fluttered out of the cage they squealed with joy.
"It's just been a really neat process," said Jennifer. "We've enjoyed it and kind of' tracked their progress and talked a lot about it."
The habitat can be cleaned and reused again. Additional cups of caterpillars are $15 each.
When asked what their rating was the boys were in total agreement.
"Two thumbs up," they screamed, "two thumbs up, two thumbs up."