Earlier this summer we got some butterfly larvae and got to watch them grow. It was really fascinating. If you haven't ever done it, then you should. I look forward to the next time.
This first picture is after four of them had become chrysalides, and the fifth (far left) was hanging in place but hadn't shed his caterpillar skin yet. That fifth guy was funny-- he was about a day behind the others, and he just kept crawling around them and bumping into them (trying to eat them? who knows) and then they'd shake shake shake to try to get him away. I'm pretty sure they were cursing him inside their chrysalides.
Here is a link to a really great video of the changing process. It's FASCINATING. I watched it happen a couple of times, and HH got to watch once. I woke the girls up to let them see the last one (they'd missed the others), but they could barely keep their eyes open so I sent them off to bed again. 20 minutes later I noticed Monkey asleep in the hallway.
I got to see two emerge as butterflies, and this time the girls got to see it happen (but I think HH missed them all). I lucked out to get to see both processes, maybe, since each occurance takes just a couple of minutes.
(Here's an interesting video of the entire process in time lapse)
Anyhow, after all of the butterflies were out we had a "Butterfly Release" Party. We read the hungry caterpillar book, and had butterfly english muffin pizzas with a few friends.
Everyone got a chance to hold one before it flew away. Sorry, little man H, didn't get a picture of you holding it.