Children don’t have the opportunity to watch nature in the first person because of the urban lifestyles so many of them have. The Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden provides a diversion that focuses on the insects that live all around us. Small children especially, but both children and adults can enjoy the miraculous journey of the caterpillar to its adulthood.
You must order the caterpillar package separately from the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden, which includes five of the little fellows along with all the food they need until they go through their first life change. It is an excellent way to teach responsibility and respect for animals and insect life. The caterpillars return as Painted Lady butterflies, and the kids can feed and watch them for a limited time before letting them go on to new adventures.
Product Features and Specifications
- Collapsible and reusable habitat for caterpillars and butterflies
- Large enough for insects to move around in and small enough for compact spaces
- Instructions and feeder included
- Mail-in voucher ($3 processing charge required) for five larvae and food
- One of the most amazing of nature’s transformations
What Do Reviewers Say about the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden?
Almost 2/3 of those posting reviews at Amazon gave the insect house a 5-star rating. Its overall rating was 4.4 stars. It seems that the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden brings out the child in everyone who sees it. It appears to be a very good learning tool for small children and a way to draw them closer to the adults who gifted them with this amusement. Here is a smattering of the good feedback.
The Positive Quotes
- “Wonderful, exciting learning experience.”
- “No muss, no fuss.”
- “Makes a great children’s birthday gift.”
- “Fascinating project to watch.”
One constructive thought from a reviewer was the time of year should have something to do with when the butterfly house is purchased. If it is given as a Christmas present, it is the wrong time of year to get the caterpillars, and children are disappointed when they can’t enjoy a new toy.
You can go ahead and get the caterpillars anytime of year, but one commenter said she did not want to have them in winter, fearing they would freeze or die if released during the colder months.
In line with that, it is probably better to send for the caterpillars before the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden is even given to a small child. There will be some waiting even after the caterpillars arrive, but it can seem like an eternity for a 4-year old if he or she must wait over a week to get started with the project.
Many reviewers were so pleased with the success they had with one kit that they bought additional gardens for other young family members. A great many carried all five caterpillars to adult butterflies and let them go to the delight of the little ones. This makes a memory than some children, and adults too, will remember for their entire lives.
As one 30-year old pointed out, after getting two kits for two of her siblings’ kids, she bought a third for herself.
Positive reviews commented that the garden is very easy to set up. The clear sides make observation easy. Those who had problems with dead caterpillars on arrival or shortly thereafter received replacement caterpillars from the company, no questions asked.
- “Cannot order the caterpillars online; fax number is invalid.”
- “Caterpillars never arrived.”
- “Company doesn’t ship larvae to Hawaii.”
- “Did not have a single butterfly.”
- “Died in the mailbox.”
The complaints are generally about waiting for the caterpillars, and that’s coming from the adults. You can imagine how it is to listen to a small child asking several times per day if the present has arrived. At least one person claimed to have never gotten the shipment at all.
A couple of people did not know that caterpillars cannot be shipped outside the continental U.S. This is not entirely the fault of Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden products because the statement is on the back panel. It isn’t highly visible, but it is there along with the statement that there is a $3 charge for shipping.
One bad part of teaching young people about nature is that everything doesn’t always go as planned. Small children can take it rather hard when insects die, and one parent said their little one ran away crying each time that one of the caterpillars died, and none of them survived. This is part of what is taught to small children through this process, and that is that things do die. It’s just not a pleasant part of the exercise.
As far as the butterflies dying in the mailbox, it is a good idea to order the caterpillars when you know you will be home. You might also mention it to you post office or carrier that you are expecting the package so they can be on the lookout and bring it to your door rather than sitting them in a hot mailbox.
What Should You Pay for the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden?
The Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden has an MSRP of $24.99, but Amazon is offering it at a discount price and it can be combined with other items for free shipping if the total is more than $25.
Conclusion on the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden
Parents who want their children to learn early about the value of life have a good teaching aid with the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden, however they should use some reserve as to what time of the year to give this as a toy. In the spring and summer, the caterpillars are naturally ready to begin their journey. In the best situations, not all caterpillars are going to live, that’s natural selection.
The Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden is intended to be fun, but it is easy to see how it becomes much less fun when things don’t go right. All in all, it seems like it is worth the investment and well received for the most part.
Where Can You Learn More about the Product?
There are 360 or more reviews at Amazon, 273 of which are 5-stars. You can learn almost anything you could ever want to know about the Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden at the Amazon website. Click here for information.