I’ve always found the life cycle of the butterfly to be amazing.
When Interplay asked if we’d like to try out their Butterfly World nature study kit I asked my youngest son Rowan if he’d like to take the kit into school and share the experience with his friends.
Butterfly World is part of the My Living World series from Interplay and is endorsed by CBBC’s Nick Baker. Nick is an expert in his field and it’s reassuring to buy a product he’s willing to put his name to. (Also, Nick’s middle name is Rowan so we like him.)
When the kit arrived we sent it straight into school so it was ready to go when the caterpillars followed just a day or two later. Rowan proudly delivered them to his reception class and we waited for news.
Turns out caterpillars are a bit boring to start with. Five little not-very-wriggly creatures arrived in an airtight pot complete with food and a sticky pad attached to the inside of the lid. That patch would serve as a place to ‘hang around’ when the time came.
Inside the Butterfly World box you will find…
- Pop-up butterfly rearing cage
- Jar cover
- Small plastic pot & lid
- Informative guide written by Nick Baker
- Caterpillar order form
We opted to send for some caterpillars via Interplay which cost just a few pounds and save you the hassle of trying to find some in the wild. That’s not easy during some parts of the year and I’m sure that if I was tasked with collecting a caterpillar for this kit I’d end up with a one-winged moth, and not the five painted lady butterfly caterpillars we received.
After a couple of weeks, I received an update from Rowan and his friends …
So overall, some positive news. I spoke to Rowan’s teacher who said that losing one of the caterpillars had given her the opportunity to address the topic of life and death with the children, so I think some positives can even be taken from that.
Now you’ve read the email, you really want to meet Groot, don’t you?! Here you go…
Isn’t Groot sweet?
The caterpillars were only around half a centimetre long when they arrived, so you can see just how much they grew before they eventually formed their chrysalis around them. Once they were all wrapped up, the children waited eagerly for their butterflies to emerge.
The general feedback from school was great. The kit was simple to set up and the children thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Rowan’s teacher noted that the black edges on the net was a positive difference to other, more colourful nets they’ve used in previous years and that the clear bottom on the net cage enabled them to have the set up out of reach but still allowed the children to look at their caterpillars during the entire transformation.
Rowan has talked a lot about ‘his’ butterflies and I’m told that the children often look for them at play time.
Butterfly World – and in fact the whole My Living World series – provides a great way of learning first hand about nature. The booklet provided is written by an expert and you know that what you’re teaching your children is accurate and relevant information. I’d recommend these kits to anyone with children when looking at wildlife and life cycles. I recently reviewed Interplay’s Worm World with the boys which was really interesting, and we’re currently working on a review of Ant World which has just won an award! More about that in the review.
Have you tried this kit? I’d love for you to share your experiences either by commenting on this post or heading over to my facebook page.