Today we received our Butterfly Hero kit in the mail. We love watching caterpillars turn into butterflies–we put caterpillars in jars and keep them on the kitchen counter, letting the butterflies go when they are ready to spread their wings. We find lots of swallowtail caterpillars in our garden on parsley and dill plants. Butterfly Heroes is a program that emphasizes helping monarch butterflies, so I’m hoping our new plants will attract different species of butterflies.
Best of all, the kit is free–all you do is upload a picture of the ASL sign for butterfly, pledging to help monarch butterflies by planting flowers (they send you the seeds) that benefit not only monarchs, but also bees, birds and other wildlife. Even better, the milkweed seeds I received are perennial and drought-tolerant once established, so they’re low-fuss, easy care flowers.
The kit includes a seed packet for flowers that support monarch butterflies, a list of other plants that support butterflies which are native to your region, butterfly heroes sticker and notebook, and a Ranger Rick Nature Notebook.
The butterfly larvae and host plant brochure is great for identifying plants which might have new-to-you species of butterfly larvae. They’re all so different and unique .
I was very impressed with the Nature Notebook–it’s 23 pages that encourages kids to get outside, observe nature, and think about their observations. The notebook is divided into activities for each of the four seasons, and explores all of the outdoors–plants, trees, bugs, animals, fungi, birds and more.
I’m planning on starting our milkweed seeds right away, but I’m going to put away the notebook until school’s out. A lot of the activities could be done during the summer, even ones labeled as fall or winter projects (with some exceptions such as leaf color and snow activities). We have about 12 weeks of summer, which will let us work through one or two activities a week.
If I’m really well organized, I’ll try and get some library books and look up craft projects about that week’s subject. But even if that doesn’t happen, I’ll be happy if we get most of the notebook done this summer. Want a Butterfly Hero kit of your own? Sign up here, it’s free!
Looking for other fun projects for kids? Check out how to make Pine Needle Tea!