A Surprise From My Daughter….


My youngest daughter received something very interesting in the mail earlier this week and she wanted me to share it with you.

butterfly kit

Butterfly kit

Can you tell what it is?  You may have to enlarge the photo.

butterfly kit


Okay, I admit that they look a little gross.  There are 5 caterpillars in each container.

Why get caterpillars in the mail you may ask?

Well, my daughter received the following kit for Christmas….


I found this butterfly kit at Costco for about $15 and just had to buy it for her.  She has been waiting patiently until spring temperatures arrived so that she could start raising her own butterflies.

There is a coupon inside that you send in to receive 10 caterpillars in the mail to get started.  She was so excited to open the box when it arrived in the mail.  

According to the directions, the caterpillars eat the food on the bottom of the container and grow big, VERY quickly.

butterfly kit

In just two days, they were larger (compare with first photo above).

We keep the caterpillars indoors and the first thing every morning, the kids have to check to see how much bigger they have become.  

butterfly kit

Yesterday, some of them were already hanging from the underside of the lid and this morning they all were.  This means that they are ready to form their chrysalis.

Once they have all formed their chrysalis, we can then transfer the lids to the butterfly habitat.  It should be a couple of days before we do this.

My kids are not the only ones interested in the caterpillars…..so is our cat.  We did have a little incident when the cat knocked one of the containers to the floor but, all the caterpillars survived.


We will keep you updated….hopefully we will be able to move them to their new enclosure in a couple of days.

Have a great weekend!

We are off to our son-in-law’s birthday party ๐Ÿ™‚

Beauty Emergesโ€ฆ.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
33 replies
  1. North of Sweden
    North of Sweden says:

    Well you might consider NOT to let one of those guzzle around in the garden. Check the top lid before you go to sleep. If they grow so fast what will they look like tomorrow?

    This reminds me of that in Swedish television there is a movie by Orson Wells this evening./see you around!

  2. pamsenglishgarden
    pamsenglishgarden says:

    What an exciting project. It reminds me of many years ago, I was teaching a class of 6 year old, and we raised Silk Moths in the classroom. The caterpillars were voracious eaters, and only ate oak leaves. Every morning on the way to work I could be seen picking oak leaves from the neighborhood trees. It was a great learning experience for the whole class (and their teacher). Look forward to seeing butterfly pics.

  3. NellJean
    NellJean says:

    I was so curious as to what kind of butterflies? I googled the company and found they send Painted Ladies. How exciting for the children to see the larvae hatch into butterflies and watch them fly into the garden when released.

  4. Martha Z
    Martha Z says:

    What a wonderful way for children to learn about nature! I remember in first or second grade the teacher got some silk worms to raise. The students were fascinated.

  5. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    Isn't this a cool idea? My girls did that last Spring and it was just so fun to watch. I think I was more excited about it than them ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have the habitat and was going to see if you can just get the caterpillars.

  6. Evelyn
    Evelyn says:

    A nice thing to do. I remember when I was little, I found a catepillar in the garden. I put in a bottle so that I could observed it till it became a pretty butterfly. It was a nice experience.

  7. Teresa
    Teresa says:

    This sounds very exciting. I may need to get one of those kits next year. I can't wait to see how they turn into beautiful butterflies. The kids will be amazed at what a little nap in a caccoon can do for a caterpillar. good luck with them.

  8. Ami
    Ami says:

    This is a real cool gift for your kids. My younger son once brought home some "mexican jumping beans" as "pets" and watched them evolving. That was a wonderful experience for him.

  9. Kyna
    Kyna says:

    I'm so glad you didn't have a kitty-induced butterfly tragedy! lol. I don't know if I could have been as patient as your daughter waiting to use such a cool gift. And I'm 28! LOL

  10. Rosie
    Rosie says:

    Oh Noelle that is such a great educational kit. When mine were younger they would have been interested in doing this too. It will really get exciting soon – it reminds me of the story of the hungry caterpillar.

    Glad you enjoyed my Narnia post and thankyou for offering to link to my post in your next Oxford one. Its one I'll be looking forward to.
    โ™ฅ Rosie

  11. Shady Gardener
    Shady Gardener says:

    What a wonderful experience you ALL will have! ๐Ÿ™‚ We used to do this in the classroom – and it's wonderful. Letting the butterflies go on a beautiful day is also a great experience! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. gardeningAngel
    gardeningAngel says:

    That is so cool! And not just for kids, I would love to get one for our house just to watch them change into the butterflies. Looking forward to seeing the progress and the resulting butterflies. Your daughter is very lucky to have you as a Mom!


  13. Gloria
    Gloria says:

    How wonderful. I once had about 6 caterpillers show up on, I think it was parsley. I watched them and one day I was in the yard when they started flying. You are sharing the gift of loving nature with your daughter. What a wonderful thing.

  14. Joseph
    Joseph says:

    what a fantastic project for the kids – and for you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ i had a lady comment on my blog just yesterday and her link went to a live butterfly site that sells this very product! i think it's great that so many people are taking an interest in butterflies. Can't wait to see the progress!

  15. Rose
    Rose says:

    Noelle, I've been wondering about your daughter's surprise, but this is the first chance I've had to get on the computer since early Saturday. Do you know I bought this very same butterfly pavilion for my granddaughter this winter?! I found it on sale, so I put it away until her birthday in June. Now I know what we can expect–I'm hoping her parents don't mind a container of caterpillars in their house for awhile:) This will be such a fun experience for your kids; I imagine they can't wait until these little crawlers turn into beautiful butterflies!

  16. Balisha
    Balisha says:

    Can't wait for an update on this fun project. Love the pictures of your kids…they look so interested in what they are doing. I wish them success.

  17. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    This is a bit late but i am amazed at the entrepreneural ability of those who thought of raising catterpillars in cups while they are on the mail. That is really great. So they already manufactured the pellets for the larvae to eat?!!! Great again. I wish i have thought of that. It is also patentable. Great, great, great!

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