Butterflies - live caterpillars

 It just goes to prove that  
"if you plan it, they will come!"
We recently found butterfly eggs, caterpillars and butterflies on our kale plants.  Initially I wasn't very excited that we weren't going to be able to eat the kale, however, the timing couldn't have been more perfect for our butterfly theme.  Real live learning at our fingertips!

 The tiny yellow dots are the eggs.

We managed to carefully capture one of the butterflies for a closer look.  We put it into a clear plastic container and checked for markings that would confirm our predictions that this was a Cabbage White Butterfly.

My daughter eagerly read the field guide and found that the colouring and the 2 spots on each forewing confirmed that this is definitely a female cabbage white butterfly.

We freed the butterfly and collected some of the tiny caterpillars that we found on some leaves.

 Printable record keeping sheet:
Observing the life cycle of a butterfly

The above photo was taken on July 18th.
(can you spot the little guy?)

And the below photos were taken July 22nd.

They are growing very quickly!

We think that the larger ones must have molted a few times already as they are getting very plump!
(possibly the green stuff on the left is shed skin?)


And one thing is for sure, they poop a lot!
We've been adding fresh leaves every other day and I've been cleaning out the container regularly so that it doesn't smell.

I'll post again in a couple of days so you can see how much they have grown.  I wonder how long it will be until they build a chrysalis?

Here are some links for printables of:

the butterfly life cycle
the parts of a butterfly
Have you kept caterpillars and would like to share your links?  Please email me at madebyjoey at gmail dot com.
Thanks for stopping by!
~ joey ~

~ Linking up to:

 Happy Whimsical Hearts 
Learning Laboratory


  1. How wonderful to be able to watch the caterpillars like this - and it is amazing how quickly they grow! Thanks for sharing on Happy Family Times x

    1. Yes, a few days before they form the chrysalis they change the fastest!
      It has been really fun for the kids to see up close!
      ~ joey ~

  2. We are hoping to raise butterflies next year - such a great learning opportunity for kids!

    Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

    1. Being able to actually see the changes has been great for the kids. Reading about it and filling in worksheets is fun for the research part of it, but I think watching it all happen makes the research more understandable (specially to visual learners like myself!) ;o)
      ~ joey ~


Your comments keep me inspired, please let me know what you think!
~ joey ~