Friday, March 17, 2017

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How to Make a Butterfly Home - Great Science Experiment

A "Butterfly Home" is a super easy to make science we discovered one year when our butterfly science project plans were interrupted!

Like we do during many springs, we were raising painted lady butterflies. After the caterpillars started growing we had a family need come up that required leaving town. We knew they would probably molt into chrysalises while we were gone, and we would have to risk moving them into the butterfly home at a time that wasn't ideal. We really didn't have a choice.

We arrived back in town late in the evening and found all our caterpillars hanging in chrysalises. We went to grab the butterfly home from the year before, but we couldn't find it anywhere! It seemed very important to transfer them immediately, since it was already outside the normal transfer time. So...we made our own butterfly home with what we had on hand!

At first, it felt a little silly, but it ended up working even better than the one we had bought in the past! 

Here's the final picture:

And, just in case you're wondering...this is NOT a sponsored post! We just love both Amazon and Ziplock and use them all the time...even for making impromptu butterfly homes! (I am an Amazon affiliate, so you might see links for them around the blog.)  ;)

Anyway, back to the butterfly home! All you need is a nice big box, gallon sized Ziplock bags, paper towels, masking tape and scissors.

My sweet husband actually put ours together, and it took less than 15 minutes!

Here's how to

Make Your Own Butterfly Home:

1- Cut the flaps off the top of the box and cut a nice big viewing window in the side. 

2- Cut the ziplock bags open and tape them to the box to make a ceiling.

3- Tape a paper towel to one of the sides of the box and line the bottom of the box with paper towels. The butterflies have a hard time walking on the cardboard, but they do great with paper towels.

4- Make a "door" from Ziplock bags by cutting them open, taping them across the top of the viewing window, and loosely taping down the sides. (See the picture below.)

Here's a picture of the kids reaching in to hold the butterfies throught the door:

That's it!! Now you're ready for a chrysalis!!

5- Usually you move the chrysalis about two days after it forms. Open the flap and tape the paper the chrysalis is attached to to the plastic ceiling. If you'd rather, a big safety pin should work too...we just thought tape was less jarring:

6- The best part about this is that you can open the door and watch the butterfly hatch! Their wings come out wet and they crawl very slowly, so you can often leave the door open for 30 minutes or more while it hatches! (Of course, flying away is totally a possibility, so only open the door if you're okay with the risk!!)

I hope you love your butterfly home!! It makes a perfect nature science project I'd love to see pictures and hear about your experiences with this wonderful butterfly science experiment!!

If you're raising Painted Ladies, you may also enjoy these posts:


Happy Educating,

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