It's no secret that Elliott has a photographic memory and as most little kids, he remembers everything commercials tell him. Nearly everyday while watching the Sprout Channel, we encounter the 3 minute commercial for the "live butterfly garden". If you ask him, he can go into great detail about the whole process but basically, you get a net and a cup of live caterpillars. You then get to watch the caterpillars grow, turn into crysalids, then butterflies. At that point you can release them from your net or let them live for two weeks and die in the net.
Anyway, as a special "you survived moving to a new house" prize, Ross got the boys their own "live butterfly garden". The nets came in the mail, then we went online and ordered our caterpillars. They came a few days later and the science experiment/life cycle observation began.
The commercial does not tell you about the caterpillar poop, or how gross in general the little creatures are. We've got two containers, 10 critters total and one of our containers all "chrysalized" yesterday afternoon. That meant that it was time for dad to take them out of the container that was once filled with food, but now filled with poop and pin them into the net.
I guess it's a good experience for the kids - to watch the process. Elliott is fascinated with it all, but it does take to long for a 4 year old. If only caterpillars could change in about 3 hours, not a three week process.