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Gift Ideas for Kids: Live Butterfly Garden Habitat

Updated on July 7, 2015
Lily Rose profile image

I am a mom of two beautiful girls (10 & 12). We love to read, play, cook, shop and have fun together. I love to share great products/toys.

representations of egg, larva, chrysalis, and aduly Painted Lady butterfly
representations of egg, larva, chrysalis, and aduly Painted Lady butterfly

Butterflies start life as an egg. From the egg emerges a caterpillar that consumes its own eggshell, and then it begins to feed on the plant on which it was "born." Caterpillars crawl out of their skin, and this must be done about five times before they are ready to transform into a pupa. Finally, a butterfly emerges with spread wings and flies off. This development is considered a complete metamorphosis.

Butterfly gardens are a great source of enjoyment for grown-ups and children alike. You can take great photographs throughout the process. Get your kids interested in nature by getting a butterfly habitat and teaching them the process by which a caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly.

Insect Lore was founded by an entomologist, which is a zoologist that focuses specifically on the study of insects. He wanted to create a kit for people of all ages to witness the metamorphosis of a real, live butterfly. It took three years of trial and error but he finally came up with just the right recipe for success. Thirty years later, over 11 million caterpillars have been shipped from Insect Lore's facilities in California and England.

Experience the wonder with a butterfly habitat of your own:

Mini Butterfly Bungalow & World Alive Butterfly Kit

Experience the metamorphosis from larvae to a beautiful adult Painted Lady butterfly with these butterfly habitats. These are smaller sized ones, perfect for home or even a classroom. Raise butterflies in these habitats and then release the adults into the wild. Comes with everything you need, including instructions on how to order the larvae by mail. These habitats are collapsible and reusable.

NOTE: If you are buying this as a gift for someone, buy it early because you have to order the larvae and it can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to receive them. You can also specify the time frame you wish the larvae to arrive to you if you order very early, then you'll be sure to get them just when you need them to include with the habitat gift.

Live Butterfly Garden

This collapsible and reusable butterfly habitat comes with a feeder (you just supply sugar and water), an easy-to-assemble observation chamber and a certificate for three to five free Painted Lady caterpillars (you pay a $3 processing fee). Once the caterpillars eat and turn into larvae, it takes about three weeks to metomorphosize into a butterfly.

Slightly larger than the habitats above, this one measures approximately 13" x 13".

Although we loved our small butterfly bungalow and it had worked well for us over and over again, we eventually graduating to this slightly larger one. This is larger, but not too large for home use and perhaps perfectly sized for a classroom.

Butterfly Bungalow
Butterfly Bungalow

Get this one for up-close and personal observation time with your butterflies. Kids can actually crawl right into the tent and be right there with the butterflies!


Butterfly Bungalow

Want to experience the metamorphosis up close? This large size bungalow is big enough to crawl in and get up close and personal with the butterflies. Comes with a coupon for 6-10 Painted Lady caterpillars and food ($5 shipping fee). This sturdy tent can be used over and over again to raise and observe butterflies.

Our Butterfly Habitat

Click thumbnail to view full-size
We recently raised some more butterflies!My girls loved watching the transformations daily...Our butterflies a-frolicking!Did you know that butterflies love watermellon?My oldest daughter, taking pictures with her own camera.
We recently raised some more butterflies!
We recently raised some more butterflies!
My girls loved watching the transformations daily...
My girls loved watching the transformations daily...
Our butterflies a-frolicking!
Our butterflies a-frolicking!
Did you know that butterflies love watermellon?
Did you know that butterflies love watermellon?
My oldest daughter, taking pictures with her own camera.
My oldest daughter, taking pictures with her own camera.


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    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 6 years ago from East Coast

      Thank you, LetitiaFT!

    • LetitiaFT profile image

      LetitiaFT 6 years ago from Paris via California

      Nice hub, I just linked to it. Thanks!

    • mhuze profile image

      mhuze 7 years ago from USA

      My children had a butterfly garden last year and enjoyed it very much.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 7 years ago from East Coast

      That's a great thing for a library to do! My sister has an awesome butterfly garden in her backyard and I'm trying to get her to create one at my house, too! I do not have a green thumb at all!

    • easybloomplus profile image

      easybloomplus 7 years ago from Illinois

      That looks great. Our local library just started a small butterfly garden outside the entrance, and the kids love it.

    • Peyton77 profile image

      Peyton77 8 years ago

      This is a really original idea and I would never have thought of it on my own Thanks! I can see the possibilities of some really interesting science projects coming out of this.

    • Lily Rose profile image

      Lily Rose 8 years ago from East Coast

      @ Nelle - we have a great attraction here - Butterfly World and the kids love going there. It has a beautiful tropical garden in an enclosure with thousands and thousands of butterflies!

      @ Catherine - my kids get so excited when we're out anywhere and they see a butterfly flying around - it's so cute!

      @ Don - The ones I discussed above are "personal" size, they can fit on your countertop (except the large Bungalow one) and they don't absorb much time at all - you transfer the chrysalis to the habitat when they'r eready and then you just wait and see the transormation a couple of week later. After a few days of fun observation you set them free - and start all over, if you want. My husband enjoyed our as much as the girls and I did - I don't think a butterfly garden or habitat is a "feminine" thing at all.

      TrudyVan - thanks for visiting!

    • TrudyVan profile image

      TrudyVan Curre 8 years ago from South Africa

      Really great idea. I know I loved butterflies from an early age. great idea

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Great Hub, Lily Rose. But from my male perspective, I will never have a butterfly farm. I'm sure they are very uplifting and absorbing - of one's time. I prefer to go to someone's farm, as expressed to Nelle Hoxie. Don White

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 8 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Great gift idea Lily Rose. Butterflies are beautiful and fascinating to children.

    • profile image

      Nelle Hoxie 8 years ago

      I love butterfly gardens. Big ones and Little ones. The best one I've ever visited was at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. There must have been thousands of incredible butterflies.