We went to this very cute Locals Farmer Market and found a Butterfly Tent. Inside the tent you could hang out with butterflies. Our family decided to get some Monarch Caterpillars and to hatch them. This is a great science project and it taught my boys to handle fragile, delicate life with care, the circle of life, as well as death.
After the caterpillar ate until its heart content, it then prepared by attaching itself to the top of the plastic cup. It seemed like an uncomfortable process, but it managed quite well. My boys thought it was absolutely amazing.
Here is a great resource of the Butterfly Cycle if you ever want to try this project at home.
You can see that it had this beautiful like thread that it used to close up its pupa. Adorning around the edges was this beautiful gold lining and gold dots. It was so beautiful. At this point we had to wait about a week until the caterpillar hatched from his pupa. I had to keep the caterpillars in our room because my six year old at the time wanted to touch the cup and the soon to be butterfly would jiggle around. You have to be careful with them in this stage of the cycle.
The trickiest part of this whole experiment is the timing of it. We were so lucky to be able to watch this part of the cycle together. During this part it is helpful to spray a little warm water with a light spray. This will help your butterfly get out the sticky shell it is in. You don’t want to spray the butterfly though when it is getting ready to come out.
At this point our entire family felt pretty accomplished. We were all very excited with each flapping of its wing. We could not wait until its wings dried. What an exciting moment. Out of 4 caterpillars, only 2 hatched. The other two butterflies never made it out of the pupa stage. Their pupas became black. It helped our boys to understand that not everyone makes it. They felt very bad for the ones that did not and we buried them under some dirt.