ATLANTA -- Have you ever seen a caterpillar turn into a real, live butterfly?
The Live Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore promises to let kids experience one of nature's miracles -- the transformation of a larvae to a beautiful butterfly. 11Alive reporter Jennifer Leslie decided to try it out with her two sons.
After seeing the commercial, Blake's grandmother ordered the kit. It cost $30 plus another $10 for shipping. There is also a smaller $20 kit.
In less than a week, it arrived -- two jars containing nine small caterpillars, a pop-up butterfly habitat and complete instructions.
The food is already in the jar, so all Jennifer has to do is put the caterpillars in a safe place, out of direct sunlight, and watch them grow.
In about a week, the caterpillars climb to the top of the jar, where they attach themselves for the final transformation.
Then, Jennifer moves them into the butterfly habitat. They may look like cocoons, but even preschooler Blake knows they're called chrysalis.
Ten days later, the final metamorphosis is complete and the habitat is teeming with nine painted lady butterflies.
"I think it's fun. It's educational," Jennifer says. "I enjoyed it probably as much as the boys, maybe a little bit more. But I think we all got something out of it."
After enjoying their butterflies for a couple of days, the boys follow the recommendations and release them into the wild.
The habitat can be cleaned and reused again. Additional cups of caterpillars are $15 each.
Jennifer and her family give the Live Butterfly Garden many, many enthusiastic thumbs up.