Butterfly Life Cycle: Raising and Observing Butterflies

This past few weeks, our first “official” month of homeschooling, has flown by! For our science study, we’ve learned so much about the butterfly life cycle and observed so many beautiful butterflies!

We raised Painted Lady (using this kit) and Cabbage White butterflies:

Butterfly Observation: Painted Lady caterpillars
Butterfly Observation: Painted Lady J shape and chrysalis
Butterfly Observation: Painted Lady chrysalises
Butterfly Observation: Painted Lady
Observing the Cabbage White Butterfly Life Cycle with Kids
Butterfly Observation: Cabbage White chrysalis
Butterfly Observation: Cabbage White chrysalis
Butterfly Observation: Cabbage White
Butterfly Observation: Cabbage White

We observed Pipevine Swallowtail eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalises at our friends Susie and Joan’s house:

Butterfly Observation: Pipevine Swallowtail eggs
Butterfly Observation: Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars
Butterfly Observation: Pipevine Swallowtai chrysalis

We traveled to the California Academy of Sciences to see even more butterflies:

Butterfly Observation: Hecale Longwing
Butterfly Observation: Zebra Longwing
Butterfly Observation: Blue Morpho

We’ve watched our daughter’s interest, enthusiasm, and knowledge grow with each activity. Kindergarten is off to a great start! (Phew.)

Click here to see all of our Butterfly Life Cycle posts.

5 thoughts on “Butterfly Life Cycle: Raising and Observing Butterflies”

  1. How fantastic! What a great hands on learning project! What fun and opportunity to watch nature’s secrets unfold! Miss L must’ve loved it!

    What are the painted ladies being fed at bottom of jar? Were the chrysalises that were attached to top moved into the butterfly house to ‘hatch’? Did they all open at same time and where did you release them – into your garden?

    Thanks for posting! Fascinating!

    1. I have no idea what the painted lady caterpillars were eating; it came in the kit (and looks SO weird). They gobbled it up and grew gigantic. I had to move the chrysalises once they settled for a few days. It was traumatic for everyone — the chrysalises moved around for a while before they quieted down once they were moved to the butterfly house. I wish there was another way to do that! Only four of the five emerged as butterflies and I wonder if the bumpy transfer is why the fifth one didn’t make it. (They also emerged on different days, since they formed chrysalises on different days.) We released them into our garden but ALL of them flew off immediately… unlike the cabbage white butterflies which tended to linger.

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