Best Butterfly Kits for Growing or Keeping Reviewed in 2018

When it comes to the insects found in nature perhaps one of the most colorful is the butterfly. These majestic winged creatures no doubt will captivate a child with their beauty. These are truly a prime example of nature at its best. However, while taking a closer look at the butterfly we discover that there are actually benefits that can enrich a kid as well. First of all the butterfly is a prime example of an insect that starts out in life as one type of species that is known as the caterpillar; then will go through a process of metamorphosis to actually become the fluttering butterfly. This process alone which teaches kids about how life itself can evolve and change is worth studying the butterfly further. However, it isn’t always easy to study this process or even the butterfly further while it is out in nature. So, this is where a butterfly kit or even a butterfly keeper can be used. Butterfly kits are a way for a kid to actually study the various stages of the butterfly. From the caterpillar stage to the pulpa stage to the chrysalis stage where the caterpillar goes into a cocoon.

Proceeding lastly of course, to the final stage where it emerges into a beautiful butterfly. These kits are a great way for a kid to really connect with the butterfly’s natural process of life. In fact, kids are the keepers of the habitat, to assist and study the evolvement of their life cycle. But these are also a great way for a child to really connect with nature, by going outside to collect the butterflies; to place in a keeper to watch the winged creature further. We realize how appealing the butterfly is to children. They will no doubt be fascinated by them, so, we took the time needed to find some of the best butterfly kits and keepers online. Consider these top 10 choices on your journey to find the best one for your kid.

Last Updated: July 23, 2018
By Amanda Milewski:

Butterfly kits are not only awe-inspiring but are extremely educational and STEM-oriented. Watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly and then releasing the butterfly teaches children about the circle of life and that sometimes change is necessary in order to grow and become what you are intended to be. We have recently updated our list of the 10 best butterfly kits to include a number of new products and have reviewed all product information to ensure its accuracy.

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Butterfly Kits

Through the study of the insect world, kids can develop a deeper appreciation of the natural wonders of the world. Perhaps one insect that provides not just that deep understanding but other principles that a child could take through life is the butterfly. When a kid closely studies the butterfly or even has to take care of them, they will learn values that will help them through their own evolution in life from childhood to adulthood. When creating this list we wanted to focus on these criteria of benefits that are certainly present in a butterfly kit or keeper.

Educational

This is the main benefit of actually studying the butterfly up close. While observing the various stages and changes the butterfly goes through from larva (caterpillar) to cocoon to actual butterfly, a child learns that in life there are changes we all go through. Like the butterfly, they too will change over time as it is the natural process of things. Also, they can learn more about this beautiful insect in general, such as why it only flies and never walks, how to actually hold one without harming it and that it doesn’t actually hear but relies on its eyesight which is limited in color. Another lesson that can be learned from the butterfly is when kids let them go, it teaches a child that in life there will come a time when you have to let go of something and a butterfly will always be its happiest while out in nature. The educational benefits of observing a butterfly are endless, and the great thing is it is so fascinating to the child that they won’t think of it as learning but something that is fun.

Visual Perceptions

This is another benefit for a child to obtain through the butterfly. Because they are so colorful and flutter around, a child will be drawn to watch them. If they use a magnifying glass, they can also see other unique qualities about the butterfly while promoting their visual range of perception of the world around them.

Responsibility

Caring for butterflies is just like caring for any other pet. They need to be fed a proper way and the butterfly habitat needs to be kept clean. This will follow the requirements set forth by that particular butterfly keeper’s instructions. A child could learn to take part in the process and how to go about doing it properly. While doing this, a child learns some responsibility and not only about caring for butterflies but also for caring for a pet in general.

Appreciation

In an age where kids can be so into video games and other digital technology, they might be losing track of the importance of the environment and nature. Through studying the butterfly and learning more about it, a child develops a deeper appreciation of the beauty of Mother Earth. It also gives them a further appreciation of the creatures that can be found in nature and perhaps even interest them in going outside and finding out more about nature in general.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How did the butterfly actually get its name?

A: This is a question that no doubt younger kids could very well ask and one that no doubt some of us may have pondered at one time or another. However, there are several stories surrounding how the name actually came to be for this insect. Unfortunately, no one really knows for sure since the name dates back centuries.

One legend is that witches would turn into beautiful flying insects to steal milk and butter. Another legend is that kids may live a bit more because of the fact that this insect comes out in the spring. While doing so the butterfly would appear flying around while milk was being churned into butter on farms and the name sort of stuck. But these are just a few legends and no one really knows for sure where the name actually came from.

Q: How are butterflies beneficial to the environment?

A: Like the bee and the moth, the butterfly is a pollinator. This means that it will take pollen from one flower and distribute it to other plants which will benefit the ecosystem. Butterflies can also help control weeds and take care of some unwanted pests that can ruin gardens. Also, it turns out that scientists actually use butterflies as sort of a barometer, telling them if bad weather is on the horizon because of the absence of this insect in areas where it could be commonly found.

Q: How long does it take a butterfly to emerge from a cocoon?

A: This will depend on some factors. For example in a warmer climate in the middle of summer, the process can take up to a month to actually happen. It will also depend on the species of butterfly. On average the Monarch butterfly, one of the most identifiable species, can take up to 14 days to emerge from the cocoon.

However, the Painted Lady, which is one of the most common species and one that is often included in the butterfly kits, takes only seven to 10 days to emerge.

Q: What is the best time of year and temperature to release butterflies into nature?

A: Butterflies are insects that thrive in spring and summer. The ideal temperature for a butterfly to actually take flight is between 55 to 60 degrees. So, butterflies should never be released when it cold out and also shouldn’t be released when it is raining.

Q: How many species of butterflies are there?

A: There are actually around 20,000 different types of butterfly species throughout the world. In North America, it has been determined that there are around 725 different species of butterflies to date that have been discovered.

Q: Is it important to put plants and flowers in habitats and does the size of habitat matter?

A: Yes, to both questions. First of all, flowers and plants are where a butterfly lays her eggs. Also, as stated above, butterflies are pollinators by nature and so being able to continue this process even in captivity would only benefit the species. As for the size of the habitat, butterflies love to fly around, so a larger habitat is always beneficial.

Yes, we did place a few smaller ones on our list but these are more ideal for securing the butterfly after catching it in nature or moving it from one place to another. These small ones are also ideal to house a caterpillar since these don’t require the same amount of space as the butterfly does, but again host plants are necessary since these are one of a caterpillars main source of nourishment.

Q: What is the lifespan of a butterfly?

A: Unfortunately a butterfly doesn’t have too long a lifespan. On average most butterflies only live about a month; the female butterflies tend to live a bit longer than the males though. In fact, the longest lifespan of a butterfly that has been documented is about one year.

This is why it is so important to the butterfly to breed and lay eggs, so that new versions of this insect species can hatch and then go through the same process from caterpillar to cocoon to adult butterfly. Another great lesson for kids to learn through the butterfly is about the circle of life.

Q: Are butterflies so colorful for a reason?

A: As it turns out, there are actually several reasons for butterflies’ amazing colors. The first is that it gives them a good way to hide from predators. The butterfly’s bright coloring can mimic the same vibrant colors of the flowers and plants in nature that they gravitate toward, making them hard to spot to predators. Their bright colors also make the butterfly more appealing to other forms of their species to help them secure a mate. Turns out that the colors will also help provide warmth to the butterfly as well.

Sources

  1. Admin, Butterfly Care & FAQs, FAQ Article,
  2. Scholastic, Answers to Kids' Questions About Butterflies, Online Article,
  3. justfunfacts.com staff, Interesting facts about butterflies, Informative Online Article,
  4. Admin, Keeping Insects Caring for a Preying Mantis, Butterflies, Stick insects and Beetles, Informative Care Article,
  5. Vanessa Levin, Science for Kids: Raising Butterflies in Preschool, Online Article,