Flitter Flutter Butterfly

Have you ever hatched butterflies? I had never done it before but last year my co-worker, Rebecca, suggested that we hatch them at the library. It would be the first time that we hatched insects at the Robbinsville Branch! We ordered a Butterfly Garden Set which included a cup of 5 caterpillars, a butterfly habitat, and a butterfly feeder. We purchased our kit from Insect Lore, but kits are also available through Amazon, Toys “R” Us, and many other stores. When the caterpillars were delivered, we set everything up on our Circulation Desk so that all of the children and adults coming into the library could see them. Everyone was so excited!

The caterpillars arrived in a small cup that had all the food that they needed right at the bottom.
Caterpillars in a cup
It took about 8 days for all the caterpillars to climb to the top of the cup and start to form their chrysalids.
Chrysalids

Once the chrysalids had hardened fully (about 2 days), we removed the top and put the paper with the attached chrysalids in our butterfly habitat.
Butterfly habitat

Then it was time to wait until the butterflies emerged! We watched the habitat closely and after nearly 10 days the first butterfly made its appearance.
Butterflies

Butterflies

Butterflies

We kept the butterflies at the library for a few days and then we let them go.

Here are a few books to read if you like butterflies:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Follow the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep.

Arabella Miller's Tiny Caterpillar by Clare Jarrett
A little girl feeds a tiny caterpillar and watches him grow into a butterfly.

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin
Illustrations and rhyming text follow ten caterpillars as one wriggles up a flower stem, another sails across a garden pool, and one reaches an apple leaf, where something amazing happens.
Butterfly Garden by Margaret McNamara
Mrs. Connor's first-graders watch as caterpillars slowly turn into butterflies in the butterfly garden at Robin Hill School.

How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?: And Other Questions about Butterflies by Melissa Stewart
How does a caterpillar turn into a beautiful butterfly--and how much must it eat before it changes? What is a chrysalis? Budding scientists will delight in following this favorite creature's lifecycle and discovering the role it plays in nature.

A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston
Colorful illustrations and simple text describe the many characteristics of butterflies.
Waiting For Wings by Lois Ehlert
Butterflies bloom as delicately as flowers in this visually magnificent story of beginnings, middles and ends: eggs, caterpillars and finally butterflies.

—Michelle C. at Robbinsville

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