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Caterpillar Habitat

Make a home for a caterpillar — and observe the magic!
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Observation

What you need:

  • caterpillar 
  • two 1-liter plastic soda bottles (one must be clear) 
  • piece of cheesecloth (6" x 6"; a piece of panty hose will also work) 
  • tape 
  • chart paper

What to do:

  1. To prepare the bottles: Cut off the top of one of the bottles and remove the bottom of the other. (You can soak a bottle in warm water for 10 minutes and then pull off the bottom.) Punch 10 to 12 holes in the bottom that you removed. 
  2. Cut a piece of cheesecloth to fit across the opening of the bottle from which you removed the top. Tape it in place. This will give the caterpillar a place to attach itself.
  3. Ask your child to prepare the caterpillar habitat by adding food and twigs to the bottle. She could also add leaves and flowers. 
  4. Place the caterpillar inside its new home. Use the bottom of the second bottle (with the holes in it) as a lid. Air can get in through the holes and the cheesecloth, but the caterpillar can't get out.
  5. Observe the caterpillar daily. Encourage your child to record her observations on the chart paper. 
  6. After the caterpillar has formed a chrysalis, your child can remove the food source. 
  7. Once the butterfly has emerged, give it a few hours to dry its wings, and then set it free!
  From A Year of Hands-on Science by Lynne Kepler
(Scholastic Professional Books)

 

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