The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews
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The Butterfly Nursery Review by Audrey TolleLakeshore Learning Company
1 (800) 428-4418
2695 E. Dominguez Street
Carson, CA 90895
This review is about The Butterfly Nursery, from Lakeshore Learning Company. The box contains the frame, the net, food dish, pipette, and certificate to order the baby caterpillars from a third-party site (shipping included.) The retail price of this nursery is $39.99. It is a very hands-on kit that allows children to observe caterpillars grow, spin silk, form chrysalises, and finally, emerge as beautiful Painted-Lady butterflies. The kit includes everything needed for the process except for sugar water and banana slices needed once the butterflies emerge. Students are also encouraged to decorate the nursery with flowers, leaves, and other outdoor accoutrements.
This product says it is geared towards preschool through 4th grade students, or roughly ages 4-9. It would be great for students studying life cycles, doing a butterfly unit study, or simply for a fun project to do as a family.
This was an absolutely delightful experience for our family. Watching the little tiny babies grow from being about the size of a child’s fingernail on arrival, to becoming large caterpillars, watching them eat, form chrysalises, and watching them emerge as butterflies was just so enjoyable and educational for my students. The directions were very clear and they supplied everything needed to make this a successful project.
At first, I was disappointed that there was not an option to order the caterpillars online, instead, the included postcard had to be sent in. It said to allow two weeks for them to arrive. However, the caterpillars were at our door in less than a week even though we are in California and they shipped from Florida, so that was a nice surprise.
The price is very fair for the product and experience that you get. Lakeshore also sells certificates for refills of the caterpillars at $19.99. Our caterpillar package had included 8 originally, 2 died in transport, 5 are now beautiful butterflies, and 1 is growing at his own rate and is just now beginning to form the chrysalis.
I highly recommend this product to any homeschooler that wants to learn about life cycles or just wants a good experience learning about butterflies. This has sparked great conversations, interest, and curiosity about other types of butterflies. We got to see the butterfly lay eggs, so we may get to start the process over soon. For those who are greatly concerned about animal rights, this might not be a good match, as the caterpillars do live in a small plastic cup for two weeks and then in a butterfly net until they die or until they are released. If that does not bother you, then you are in for a treat. We look forward to repeating this process in the future so all of our children can experience and remember this fun life science project.
-Product review by Audrey Tolle, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2016