We lost our last butterfly last Friday. Their lives are brief unfortunately. As I had mentioned, Zach did not want to release them but rather care for them in their enclosure. As we were down to the last two we convinced him Thursday night to release them. We took them out to the garden and gently put them on one of our roses. We got to see them drink and stay there for a while, observing, before they left. The next morning Zach found one on the ground by the rose. I looked out and he was sitting quietly holding it and touching it's wings. We found a cardboard box for burial, and he put some of his "treasuries" in with it, i.e., giving it a proper Egyptian burial as he has been reading about the Egyptian kings recently. He gave up some of his stick on jewels for the jewels for the afterlife for this little butterfly.
I'm so glad we decided to do the butterflies part of science this year. I think Zach really got a lot out of it, and it will be a very nice memory for him for a long time to come. In a year or two we will probably do it again, and maybe more as each child reaches that level in our curriculum to study the lifecycle of butterflies. It really does solidify the book learning to raise them and watch them.