By Discovery

Reviewed for Kindergarten, 2007

This is a toy with a shelf-life, but that’s okay — your kids will continue to talk about the experience long after the butterflies have fluttered away. It all starts with a box containing a canopy, instructions, and a caterpillar order form. Once your adopted larvae arrive (for the squeamish: don’t worry, they’re in a small container and you never have to actually touch them) your children can watch the caterpillars grow, form cocoons, and transform into painted ladies. Kids can help feed their new friends with sugar-water spritzed on freshly cut flowers. The nicest part of the process? "Raising" butterflies from babies to adults, and then setting them free. (Discovery Store, $24.95)