Butterfly Garden by Insect Lore

These butterfly growing kits are pretty amazing! My son had a ‘pavilion’ last year and this year we bought an additional kit (cost £19.99) so my daughter could also watch the amazing metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. You basically buy the kit which includes a ‘pavilion’ which is a 60cm high netted cylinder shape, instructions and a feeding pipette. You then have to send off to get your caterpillars sent to you (an additional cost of £2.99 to cover P&P) which arrive within a few days – you can specify when you would like them to be despatched. The caterpillars arrive in a plastic pot with a white lid and are tiny when they arrive. After a few days they start to grow and it is fascinating watching them growing so rapidly. Their ‘food’ is in the pot so you don’t need to feed them at this stage. Once they reach the chrysalide stage they can be transferred from the pot to the pavilion and within a couple of days they hatch! They can then be kept in the pavilion for a couple of days for you to observe them. You can put some small flowers/branches to decorate their temporary habitat and also need to feed them a nectar solution which you make from sugar and fruit (ours loved cantaloupe melon).

The Pros:

  • You get to see the whole process of metamorphosis
  • The children are fascinated by the rapid growth of the caterpillars
  • The children loved decorating the pavilion (although I’m not sure Ben and Holly characters were completely appropriate)
  • Watching the butterflies feed is lovely and the children were really keen to observe this

The Cons:

  • It’s not the cheapest purchase but on the plus side the pavilion can be used again (my son continues to use it for catching bugs)
  • The caterpillars look a bit scary when they get really big!
  • Because they stay in the pot for a few days their pooh builds up to quite an astounding level
  • Once they hatch there are red patches around the pavilion; according to the instructions “do not be alarmed if you see a red liquid which appears to be blood coming from the tail of the butterfly. This is called meconium and is left over from the formation of the wings”
  • The children were a little reluctant to let the butterflies (their little pets) go after a couple of days

All in all though a good purchase and a fab experience for the little ones over the summer holidays! You can buy the Pavilion on Amazon and it is currently retailing at £12.90.

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