Home / How To / My first pet: Caterpillar – Butterfly House (Up-Cycle 2 Fruit Punnets): 10 steps (with pictures)

My first pet: Caterpillar – Butterfly House (Up-Cycle 2 Fruit Punnets): 10 steps (with pictures)

My first pet – A very hungry Caterpillar!

I have a 3 year old, who is not old enough for a "serious" pet, so I thought butterflies would be a great start! He has also grown up with the amazing book by Eric Carle. So it was a nice way to get him started with pets, at almost no cost to make the home.

These instructors will help you find larvae, build a cycle ride from fruit baskets, to be metamorphosed to butterflies / moths. I think the larvae do good pets, because they "eat their greens" (which every parent knows is a virtue that the kids work on!).

From what I can say, it also appears that the larvae are quite tolerant to being taken up (carefully) and inspected by the children. It is worth suggesting that you avoid the crazy and hairy, as these can be irritating to the skin. Contact a guide if you are unsure.

But I think as a first pet, larvae are fun to watch, (some move very fast, and the wavy movement is hilarious towards children / big kids). The task of taking care of and cleaning out the old leaves and the seed (poop) is a good thing to test before you get a more temperamental pet like a rabbit etc.


1; Please forgive the small "artistic license" to photoshop in some butterflies, but the point is that they were actually metamorphosed in about 8 days and lived happily ever after (much to the surprise of my wife).


Catching a Caterpillar: I suggest a jam jar or container with some holes in the lid for ventilation.

Where to find them – some suggestions: http: //www.raisingbutterflies.org/finding-immature … (but essentially it's about looking under leaves and just feeding in forests and parks).

  • 2x Fruit Punnet.
  • Sticky Tape & Masking Tape If You Have It.
  • Scissors / Craft Knife.
  • Mesh (eg LINK) * It can be very cheap and just needs to be good enough to keep a butterfly in, so nothing too robust!
  • Bulldog Clips **.

  • * If you do not have Mesh, consider the following:

    • Use some of the material from pantyhose, chiffon, lace, etc.
    • Use tea / screen or similar – by cutting a hole and temporarily pasting it in place.
    • Finally, you can only spend long stabbing with holes to give the same effect.

    ** If you do not have clips, you can of course only use sticky tape and remove it when you need to change leaves etc.

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