Finally, the kids were using a Venn diagram to compare and contrasts the beetle's and butterfly's life cycle. They recorded facts from their notes and their calendars. In all, it took us approximately two months to see all the stages. We purchased the mealworms from our local pet store (50 units for $2.99) on November 1st. The caterpillars arrived at our house on November 10th (Carolina biological supply $6.99). The butterflies lasted about three weeks, we still have all the beetles.
The kids were able to take the butterflies out to let them fly freely in the learning space. The butterflies ate a mixture of sugary water and juice from fruits like bananas, oranges, and watermelon. The kids placed the butterflies on the leaves of our orchid plant. Big Sister loves the picture in the middle since she believes the butterflies were holding hands (note: click to see an enlarged picture).
The mealworms are still with us. We continue to provide food and moisture for them.
This was an incredible experience with lots of surprises, and discoveries. For the price of $10 we were able to feel like entomologist!