I’m not sure if you saw it, but a while ago I did a deal from Play.com for the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden Kit that they had on offer (I am not sure if the deal is still valid now, though). I thought that this was a genius idea for something to do with my daughter that wasn’t plastic tat and actually taught her something, and so I bought it.
Now the first thing you must know about the Live Butterfly Garden kit is that all you get is the garden mesh and a pipette and a voucher with some instructions. You have to then pay a FURTHER £2.50 for your caterpillars to be delivered to your door. I knew that the caterpillars were not included in the kit, it made sense, but I didn’t know about the extra dosh for P&P. It did not amuse me.
The mesh Live Butterfly Garden cage thing is ace. It’s stable, flexible and comes with a Velcro-fastened hook of fabric on top so you can put it on display somewhere safe. The caterpillars were something of a surprise. When mine arrived they came in a tiny little pot that was filled at the base with a browny-creamy coloured mixture. And instructions.
Do not feed your caterpillars or take off the lid, they said. Hmm, I thought, how cruel. And today, as those caterpillars sit in their own poo I feel like this is a tad inhumane. They are also enormous and a little terrifying.
Once your caterpillars have formed their pupae or chrysalids, you then carefully remove them from the jar and place them inside the habitat along with specific food. This is all laid out in the instructions. Once your butterflies have hatched, they recommend you set them free after a few days.
Overall, I have to say that the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden has been a lot of fun – we all race to see what the caterpillars are doing each day – but I don’t like the jar or the secret costs.