In April, we hung butterfly salt dough ornaments. They seemed like a fitting representation of Spring, especially considering that we sent away for Painted Lady caterpillars. We had a butterfly pavilion that was given to us as a gift, and the caterpillars were ordered from Insect Lore. They come in a cup with everything they need. There is no need to open the container until they are safely hidden away in their cocoons (perfect for any squeamish husbands among the crowd…ahem). You don’t even have to feed them until the butterflies emerge.
Raising butterflies has been a fun experience for our family. They change so quickly that children can readily see the changes each day. Even my insect avoiding husband checked on them daily. You might want to mention to your family that butterfly excrement is red, in order to avoid those exclamations of “They’re bleeding!” I seemed to forget to mention that fact to my family.
A painted lady butterfly. Photograph: The Linnean Society of London