Bring Up A Butterfly …

As far as summer’s go, ours fizzled out a bit towards the end as our plans for the future began to unfold,  work took up a lot of my time, and life in general just had a bit of meh going on, especially once our friends packed up their lives and moved to Australia. One aspect of our summer that did lift me out of my funk a little, was the 50things campaign, which gave me a bit of time and focus on the children. If you find yourself struggling with getting outdoors, do have a look at the campaign. It helps focus otherwise busy mother’s mind on their children. It did for me, at least.

One of the things on the 50things list is Bring Up A Butterfly. It’s one we embraced with gusto, because my girls (4 & 2) really want a pet, but we can’t have one where we live. Of course, a butterfly isn’t a pet, so much, but it was quite the learning experience for them.

We bought a butterfly kit from Amazonwhich came with a net and a pot with caterpillars in it. The pot contains the worms, and the food they need till they transform.



It was really quite amazing for all of us, watching the teeny tiny caterpillars turn very quickly into large caterpillars and almost overnight go into their cocoons. They stay in Chrysalis form for almost two weeks, then, before you know it, there’s a cocoon shaking and rattling as the butterfly writhes its way out. Soon a beautiful Painted Lady joins the world, and like a deer finds it’s feet unsteadily at first. Bring Up A Butterfly

Before you know it, the butterfly has a sip of nectar, and so the cycle is complete.

We kept them in their basket until they were all steady and ready, and on a sunny afternoon went into the garden to let them go. Butterflies are incredibly low maintenance. You really just have to look at them, and once they are hatched, give them some nectar on a saucer. It’s even easier than a gold fish.

To turn this into a true learning experience, we also used Twinkl’s Butterfly Life Cycle resource.

*If you buy the kit any time other than the Spring, they will send you everything you need, except for the caterpillars. Those will be sent to you in the Spring. It makes a lovely gift though, which is what Ameli’s was, and consequent years you can just buy caterpillar refill packs. It’s also worth noting that you can also buy a Ladybird Kit.

We’re completing  the National Trust’s #50Things campaign because, well, it’s great. This was number 38: Bring up a butterfly  on their list. You can see the full list here.

Mamatography Week 34: The Abbey, Pooh Sticks Bridge And The Vyne

These are the beautiful things that have kept us busy these summer holidays. Oh, how I miss them!

Day 233 – Battle Abbey

Continuing our camping trip, day two saw us head to Battle Abbeythe site of the 1066 Battle of Hastings. We explored the atmospheric abbey ruins the  museum, and the grounds, and the children painted shields, which was good fun. I bought a beautiful bottle of Mead there, which we cracked open for a sip of honey-liqueur at the fire side that evening. I’m looking for a good mead recipe now. The stuff is awesome!

After a long day sight seeing, I put my little one to bed, and gasped when I saw her nails! Then I decided nails like these in an 17-month old after four days of wild camping are actually pretty awesome! 

Day 234- The House At Pooh Corner

Our last day of camping was a bit of a washout, as it started raining rather heavily during the night. That being the case, we really just had an uncooked breakfast, and packed up as fast as we could. That was a bit disappointing, but hey ho, we’d had an amazing trip.

I decided that rather than going straight home, we’d go to a little town called Hartfield – the inspiration for AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. We had an early lunch at Pooh Corner, before heading to Pooh Sticks Bridge for a game of Pooh Sticks. It was a lovely walk, and a great way to spend a morning, before heading home dirty, tired and happy.

Day 238 – Munchkin Olympics

Friends of ours started the Munchin Olympics last year, in honour of the Olympics. They decided to do it again this year, starting a tradition of ‘sporty’ activities. Ameli is one of the older children in that group of friends, so she did pretty well, coming away with quite a few 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th places, and very proud of herself – rightly so. I was very proud of her too!

Day 239 – The Vyne, Basingstoke, Hampshire

Birdwatching in The Vyne, Basingstoke. We signed up for the National Trust’s 50 Things campaign  last year, and we’re almost half way. Along with Pooh Sticks last week, we’ve also ticked off bird watching this week!