With a caterpillar hatchery, your kids can watch a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. Why should you crawl when you can fly?
Butterflies come in all kinds of beautiful varieties. In this exciting butterfly activity, your family can raise your very own using a large glass jar or aquarium.
What You'll Need:
- Aquarium or glass jar with lid
- Potting soil
- A stick
- A caterpillar
How to Make a Caterpillar Hatchery:
Step 1: Put a layer of potting soil in the bottom of the container. Put a stick in the soil, and lean the top of the stick against the side of the container.
Step 2: You're now ready to find a caterpillar. You'll find them feeding on leaves of plants like cabbages. When you find one, pay attention to what kind of leaves it is eating. (Different caterpillars eat different plants.) Gently pick up the caterpillar and plenty of the leaves, and put them in the hatchery.
Step 3: Put a lid or cover on the hatchery, but make sure air can get in.
Step 4: Be sure to check on your caterpillar every day. Caterpillars have huge appetites! In its new home, the caterpillar will keep munching leaves (make sure it always has some) until it begins making a cocoon (also called a chrysalis).
The caterpillar will come out of its cocoon as a butterfly. You won't recognize it! When that happens, take the hatchery outside and let the new creature fly away.
The next activity will take your kids on a chase of butterflies in flight. Learn how to make a homemade butterfly net in the next section.