Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Before Princess #2 was born, to help Princess #1 and Prince understand when the baby would come and the whole abstract concept of transformations, we purchased a live butterfly garden.
The kiddos were so excited to see what would happen to the three caterpillars. Everyday, sometimes several times a day, we checked to see the progress of the very hungry caterpillars.
Along with the observation of the caterpillars we read several books about caterpillars. The one that was the biggest hit was The Butterfly. The pages are richly decorated with captivating and colorful illustrations. It explained in a simple yet compelling way the life cycle of a caterpillar and butterfly. We read this story several times a day. Princess #1 even started acting out the story--from inching along, munching on leaves, to sitting very still in a chrysalis, and then emerging as a beautiful butterfly.
What I really liked about the book was that it went on to explain the full life cycle. (Basically, that the new butterfly would go on to lay eggs and more caterpillars would hatch--thus everything coming full circle so to speak). This helped to launch our butterfly release party so the butterflies could eventually lay eggs around our yard. Thus, we'd have more butterflies to enjoy. I was also concerned my kids wanted to keep the butterflies as a pet, which the instructions on the garden clearly states not to do as the butterflies would not live long. I purchased a flat of flowers and we released the butterflies into the yard. The kids were thrilled to see the butterflies hangout on our flat of flowers for a while before fluttering to freedom.
I would recommend both of these products to be used in conjunction to provide a fun, easy, and educational entertainment. We have also given these as birthday presents to many who have had so much fun as well.