The kit is aimed at children aged 5+, Jack recently turned 4 and was fascinated by it all. Within the box you get everything you need minus the caterpillars. You get a pop up butterfly cage, a paintbrush, net jar cover and elastic band, small plastic pot with a lid and a full colour instruction book helping your identify different caterpillars as well as explain the cycle. For the caterpillars, you can either catch them from the wild using the provided tools and advice from the booklet or you can purchase some babies from the recommended supplier which come via the post.
We had some via the post, mainly as I had no idea where to start looking for caterpillars around where we live at the moment. They arrived within a self contained system, at the bottom it contains their food and at the top there are holes to allow air in. Each day they grow increasingly bigger, and I was amazed at how quickly they do grow. Both the adults and children loved watching them.
It took roughly 3 weeks for the caterpillars to grow and turn into a chrysalis. When they got quite large, we were unsure how they would get any larger and still fit in the tub, luckily they didn't grow too big. Watching them form into a 'J' shape and then wriggle around into the correct position was interesting. We had one which kept touching one which was trying to change and watching it protect itself was interesting how such a small creature protects itself.
Once the final caterpillar had turned into a chrysalis, we waited a further 3 days and then transferred them to the net carefully and awaited the next and final stage of the cycle. One morning we did our usual check on the butterflies and one had hatched, I think I was possibly more excited than Jack. Then on my return from taking Jack to nursery the next had emerged and the following day we had five beautiful butterflies. As they emerged there was a red blood like substance and I thought the butterflies weren't going to make it, turns out its just meconium. During the time in which we kept them, we made them a honey and water mix to feed them until releasing them into the wild.
Both Jack and Isla really enjoyed these, I would often find Isla just looking at the butterflies, she had no idea what was happening but the movement amazed her. As for Jack each day at several intervals he would ask to check on the caterpillars, ask if they had yet become a butterfly to which we would go through the cycle again. When it was time to change them into the net he helped prepare it all, and then to prepare some food for them whilst they each emerged. He enjoyed the whole process of watching them grow, sleep and then emerge.
I cannot wait to do this again when Isla is a little bigger and understands too, it was such an amazing process and one we all enjoyed as a family.
The Butterfly World kit has a retail price of £12.99 and is available from Interplay, as well as other good retailers such as Amazon. You can find your own caterpillars or purchase between March and September from recommended suppliers. This is such a fun activity and one I'm sure your whole family will enjoy too.
Please Note: We received the Butterfly World kit and caterpillars free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.