Back in the Spring we talked about how to Raise Tadpoles at home - we had a very successful year with ours and two weeks ago released 10 little froglets back into our wildlife pond. Summer leads itself to raising another animal at home with some butterflies - anyone can raise their own butterflies at home - there are two options you can purchase a butterfly kit and raise the butterflies like Red Ted Art did last summer or like us you can go on a caterpillar hunt and collect your own and then raise them yourself.
If you are hunting for caterpillars please be aware that some caterpillar have bristles that do irritate the skin and can be released and cause problems for asthmatics - the best advice is to find your caterpillars observe from a safe distance and then identify them using google to search for caterpillars in your area of the world. Once you know they are safe then you can return and collect.
We found some in our garden at home in a patch of stinging nettles - there were tell tale signs on the leaves of the nettles with holes (imagine like the page from The Very Hungry Caterpillar) and after looking around when I had pulled them up we were able to find a couple of caterpillars.
Using a jam jar which I pierced the lid to provide some air holes in I added in some nettles - it's really important that you include the plant that the caterpillar was found on in as a food source - as some caterpillars will only eat certain plants so it's for the best as you don't want to lose the caterpillars.
We added the jar to our nature table and observed the caterpillar moving around and transforming into a chrysalis and then.... Well we will have to wait to see. I suspect our caterpillar is a moth caterpillar rather than a butterfly and it will be interesting to see what develops.
Last week we hung out with Maggy from Red Ted Art and Life at the Zoo, Trisha from Inspiration Laboratories and Andrea from Blue Bear Wood talking about science at home and Creepy Crawlies find out more about making a home for your backyard bugs, Insects, raising butterflies and studying creepy crawlies with your toddlers and preschoolers by watching the video below.
If you raise your own caterpillars to butterflies I would love to know - please pop over to our facebook page and share the progress on our wall.
If you have liked this we would love you to share - do you know that you can now hover over our images to pin directly from the post and we have "pre-filled" the description to make it even easier for you.