The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Once a teacher always a teacher?

Not sure what possessed me, whether it’s because I won’t let her have a dog or she doesn’t have any siblings, but at Christmas I bought her a Live Butterfly Garden.  In the box, you get the net, all the instructions plus a certificate to order your baby caterpillars when you’re ready.

They arrived a couple of days after we ordered them.  They come in a small pot with everything they need for the first couple of weeks.Live Butterfly Garden

We were amazed how quickly they grew.  They then make their way to the top of the pot, hang upside down and weave themselves into a cocoon.

Preparing to become Chrysallis

Once they all turn into cocoons, you transfer them to the net.


Then a week to two weeks later, they turn black and will most likely emerge that day.

We came home last night to find four Painted Butterflies.  Can you see all of them?

Painted Butterflies

Sadly, we can’t keep them forever so we released them tonight, but no tears just a lot of excitement and she learned loads.  However, it did take them a lot of persuasion to come out.

Releasing our butterflies

Releasing Butterflies

Releasing Butterflies

Unfortunately, just after they emerged, one got stuck on its back to the bottom of the net, in the red liquid (Meconium) that they eject after they leave the chrysalis.  I tried to rescue it but think one of its wings may have been damaged.

But on the positive side, there seems to be a baby caterpillar left behind so we can do it all again!

Next year we may try stick insects or an ant farm.


Family Christmas Activities at the Science Museum, London

If you’re stuck for things to do over the Christmas Holidays, I really rate the Science Museum in London.  We went last Saturday and had a brilliant day and learned a lot.

After a bit of deliberating we decided to drive in, as it worked out cheaper than taking the train even with the price of parking.  We did have a bit of a surprise when we arrived as the underground car park we normally use, is no longer in use.  But thanks to a very kind Black Cab driver, we found street parking just around the corner to the museum on Prince Consort Rd, which was about £14 for four hours.

The museum itself is free but there is a suggested donation of £5.   We went to see the Legend of Apollo 4-D, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Landing on the moon.  If you’re like me you’re probably wondering what 4D is?  We had a bit of a surprise on our quick trip to the moon, our chairs started to shake as we went through the atmosphere and we landed on the moon with a bit of a bump, bombed around in a space buggy collecting rocks,  learned what the moon smells like and then splashed back to earth.

If you do go do make sure you make a day of it as there is so much to see and do at the Museum.  We barely made a dent in it.  Our daughter is 5, so if you have children of a similar age, I really recommend the Basement where you will find the Garden an interactive play area and a theatre with different shows throughout the day; we saw the Bubble Show and it was great fun.

The Museum is open every day except 24 – 26 December, and stays open until 19.00 (last entry 18.15) during the school holidays.  For a full list of their Family Christmas Activities 2012 click here.  I quite fancy the Festive Physics show.  Could Reindeers really fly?  Why do crackers crack?

Disclosure:  Our tickets to the 4D Cinema were complimentary.


Things to do in London with Kids: Science Museum Live

I want my daughter to want to learn.  I want her to be a curious soul like me.  If I don’t know the answer to something I love Googling to find the answer.  Kids nowadays don’t appreciate education and take it for granted and don’t seem bothered to make the effort.  Some kids in Africa walk miles to be educated in makeshift classrooms, but they can see the link between education and the opportunities that it can offer.

We don’t pressure her but try and make learning fun and expose her to wide variety of activities.  On the weekend we went to the Science Museum Live.  It’s billed for kids aged 7-11 and quite a bit went over her head as she is only 5 and to be honest, I got a bit lost with Potential Kinetic Energy myself.  But she did get a lot out of it and the explosions made her jump out of her seat, spilling popcorn everywhere.

If you’re at a loose end this weekend, I’d recommend it and if you quote “blog1” (or enter into the booking system) you can get 25% off full price adult and kids tickets. The offer is only valid from 22nd October – 28th October.

If you do go we’d love to hear what you thought?

Disclosure:  Our tickets were complimentary