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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Marty the Monarch!

During the spring, Grandma broke the rule of "no live gifts" to our kids :)  Its a good thing that Grandma had already taught us that the rules don't apply to Grandma!  Thus, we fell in LOVE with Marty the Monarch.

This is what we did:

  1. Grandma took walks around the neighborhood looking for milkweed.
  2. She found one of the little bugs and put it in a terrarium with a stick and fresh milkweed. Then, handed it over to the boys.
  3. We kept milkweed in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator and placed new leaves in the terrarium each day for about 2 weeks.
  4. We watched the little bug grow.  He grew really fast!  You have to pay attention or you will miss him spin the Chrysalis (and that is really cool).
  5. We watched him hang upside down for awhile - and then AMAZING!
  6. He shreds his skin? and he is a beautiful butterfly.
  7. After about a day in the terrarium he is ready to fly.
This was fun because my husband and I have committed to being a no pet household.  We only had to care for the bug for a couple of weeks. We plan to do this every spring!  As the boys get older we will do it more scientifically and log our observations.  We watched a cool YouTube video about the metamorphosis.  You can watch it here:  life cycle of the monarch butterfly

Did you know that monarchs eat milkweed as a form of protection?  Milkweed is bitter.  Predators learn that monarchs also taste bitter after feasting on milkweed and therefore leave them alone! 

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