Monday, May 17, 2010

Awesome, educational toy

I hope I don't break my arm patting myself on the back here, but I had to share this great toy that we got Whit for her birthday: A Mini Butterfly Bungalow.

Her kindergarten class had an insect unit recently and all of the kids LOVED it, so I thought this would be perfect.  It came with a certificate to order caterpillars.  I had to pay $3 for shipping, but the cost of the bugs was included with the little bungalow.

Whit was so excited when her little bugs arrived.

Three painted lady caterpillars.  They came in this cup.  We were not to open it or leave it in direct sunlight.  Their food was included inside.  It was so fun to check on them each day and see them getting noticeably bigger.  After a week or so, all three of them climbed up to the top of the cup.

They got very still
and before we knew it...

They had formed cocoons!
I means chrysalides.
That's the plural of chrysalis, which is apparently the proper term 
for the transitory state from caterpillar to butterfly.
See, it was an educational experience for the whole family.

The cup had a paper inside the rim and after all of the chrysalides had formed, we took the paper out of the cup and pinned it to the inside of the little bungalow. 
And waited.
And waited.
About a week or so.
And then we came home from church last Sunday to find:

The first painted lady had hatched!
You should have heard the screams emanating from our living room.
(I'm sure the neighbors were wondering.)

And later that afternoon:
Butterfly #2 made her appearance.
So exciting!

Butterfly #3 was a late bloomer.
She popped out sometime Monday morning.
We didn't get to see any of them actually emerging.
Whit was a little sad about that.

The directions said that they would drink sugar water
or sip juice from sliced oranges.
We tried both.
Maybe they were a little on the finicky side,
but I don't think they touched either one.
I didn't want them to die in our care,
so on Tuesday afternoon, we said our goodbyes
and released them into the wild.
(Is a suburban neighborhood considered wild?)

In true Whitney fashion, she wrote up a story for the occasion.
Wen the last butterfly hatchis I haf to let you go.
I wil mis you a lot!
Thoe I love you so much you aer my butterfly
and I haf to let you go.
Boo hoo.

We took the bungalow into the backyard.

and one of them even let Whit hold her before she flew off.

Farewell, butterfly friends!
Thanks for being our temporary pets.
You might be the closest we ever get to the animal kingdom.


lynnissa said...

Aydon's class had this same thing in their classroom. I volunteer each week and I loved getting to check it out. So neat for the kids to check out!

Natalie said...

Fantastic! I want that for my birthday!

Sandy said...

Wow - awesome! Where did you get that from?

andrea said...

I got ours from a favorite local toy store (Toys & Co.), but they also sell them online @ amazon and toys r us.

amy said...

That's a great idea! My kids are obsessed with ants right now, so I've been considering an ant farm or something, but butterflies are much cooler. Please continue to share all your great creative ideas.

Julie said...

That picture of Whitney holding the butterfly is PRECIOUS BEYOND COMPARE. Whitney, that was your butterfly indeed! It stayed on your hand to say I love you. Sheesh. Wish you lived next door. Andrea, you take excellent photos!

Kiersten said...

Cute! I know my girls would LOVE that!