I have been busy placing a sense of wonder and excitement into Dylan’s life, whilst helping him to hold onto an intense interest for a long period of time with the help of a butterfly garden that we purchased for him as a summer project.

I strongly believe that adding a little bit of nature into our lives enhances feelings of contentment and belonging no matter what our age.

Dylan’s caterpillars journey started with us working out the best time for redeeming our vouchers sent inside the butterfly garden box. We checked to make sure we were to be home throughout the process and able to take care of them. The whole process was said to take anything between three to five weeks. Once the dates were worked out we went online and redeemed our voucher to have Dylan’s caterpillars sent out.

Dylan’s caterpillars arrived after a few days and we sat down with Dylan and explained to him what was going to happen with the caterpillars. He got very excited and couldn’t wait to see the end results – the butterflies!

Daily Checks

Every morning after breakfast Dylan would ask to see the caterpillars and we would observe the changes together that had happened/if any. Dylan would check to see if they had got any bigger and also looked to see if the food had gone down that was in the pot provided and already made up. When the caterpillars arrive they arrive in a plastic lidded pot which is advised to keep the lid on at all times. Dylan’s caterpillars were inactive for the first day or so but then soon settled and started to eat.

project catapillars to butterflies

We kept the caterpillars up high on a shelf out of Dylan’s reach and also out of direct sunlight.

After about 10 days, upon one of Dylan’s observation days, he noticed with guided help, that they had started to attach themselves to the lid of the pot and become Chrysalides. We left them like this for three days to allow them time to harden, before moving them over to the butterfly habitat and observe the amazing and exciting transformation together.

Moved Into Habitat

To move them over into the butterfly habitat we got the cardboard Chrysalis Station ready, gently opened the lid to the pot and removed the silk strands and frass from the Chrysalides. We left the paper disk on the lid and then placed the lid upright into the Chrysalis station. Once placed securely into the station we then placed the station inside the habitat and zipped it closed.

Dylan bless him continued to ask daily to check on them after his breakfast and was excited on one inspection to see that the beautiful butterflies had started to emerge. During this time we did not disturb the butterflies, we allowed them the time needed to stretch their wings and dry. We did panic at one point when we saw a red liquid that looked like blood, but it was OK as it was what is known as meconium. It takes about two hours for the butterflies wings to dry, fully form and harden.

Dylan was one happy and excited little boy who absolutely loved watching the transformation!

Dylan enjoyed watching and feeding the butterflies for a few days. We fed the butterflies the recommended food which was 1 tsp (5ml) of sugar mixed with 100ml of water. We would add this mixture to a sponge placed inside the habitat. We also fed the butterflies with slices of fruit.

He watched them grow, now it was time to let the butterflies go!

On Dylan’s birthday he said his goodbyes to his precious butterflies!

Check out ourAll Things Nannysection of our website for other fun, crafts and activities we have been up to!

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