Learning with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

My daughter has a fascination with caterpillars lately, so we have been reading Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar a lot. I was very excited when the Monthly Crafting Book Club chose this book as the theme for the month! We had a lot of fun doing projects based around this classic story! There are so many fun caterpillar activities that you can use to bring the book to life while teaching important skills.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar was written and illustrated by Eric Carle. The story follows the little caterpillar as he hatches out of his egg and begins to wander around looking for food. Each day of the week, he adds something new to his list of foods. Eventually, he grows to be a big caterpillar and eventually a butterfly. This book is great at teaching kids a variety of concepts including the days of the week, counting and colors. It also introduces them to how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Carle’s bright and vibrant illustrations make this a fun book to read aloud. There are so many fun activities that you can do along with this book!

Practice spelling with the caterpillar!

Caterpillar name spelling – This is a simple activity to help kids practice spelling their names. You will need to cut two circles out of red construction paper for your child’s initials, and enough green circles to spell out the rest of your child’s name. Give them the red caterpillar “heads” with their initials on them and have them add the green caterpillar body parts in the correct order to spell out their name!

Create your own caterpillars!

Caterpillar Art – This project uses paper plates to make fun little caterpillars! Have kids use green paint to paint the edge of a paper plate. Use scissors to cut the edge of the plate off of the center (about 6 inches long). Have kids add a red circle for a head.

Fine Motor Caterpillars – This fun caterpillar made of ribbon and fabric gives kids an opportunity to work on their fine motor skills, as well as creating patterns. Cut several square shapes out of different shades of green felt. You can adjust the size of the squares to suit your child’s skill level. Cut a slit in the middle of each square, large enough for a button to fit through. Attach one red button to the end of a piece of green ribbon about 8 inches long. Add one green button to the other end of the ribbon.

Have kids thread the button through the holes in the middle of the square shapes, then push the felt down to the other button. As they add the felt to the shape, the ribbon will soon be covered end to end. This is a great visual representation of the caterpillar in the book, since he started as a thin caterpillar like the ribbon, and grew to a large caterpillar.

You can also adapt this activity to younger kids by using pieces of paper towel rolls painted green. Paint one of the cardboard pieces red and tie it to the end of a green piece of yarn or fabric. Have kids thread the green cardboard tubes onto the fabric to create the caterpillar.

Learning nutrition and sorting with the very hungry caterpillar!

Food Sort – The Hungry Caterpillar eats a lot of foods in the story, not all of which are nutritious. This activity uses the story to reinforce healthy eating habits with kids. You can use play food for this activity, or real food if you are daring. Place two empty laundry baskets or boxes on the floor. Have kids sort through the food and decide which ones go into the Healthy box and which go into the Unhealthy Box. You could also change this up and have them sort foods into food groups (fruits, vegetables, carbs, proteins). If you don’t have play food, or don’t want them using  your food, you can have them find pictures of food in old magazines. Cut out the photos and sort them into different piles on your table.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a modern classic which has delighted and entertained kids for years. There are many great caterpillar activities that you can pair with this book to extend the learning off the page! Do you have any caterpillar activities you do with your family?


Come join us for the Monthly Crafting Book Club. Each month we focus on a different book and encourage early literacy by pairing it with a craft.

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Crafting Book Club for May

Interested in joining us next month? Join the Facebook group for updates HERE and feel free to participate whenever you can.

Next month we are doing Camping Themed books.

45 Comments

  • Lisa/Syncopated Mama

    April 25, 2017 at 8:48 am

    I love using the threaded buttons as as a caterpillar link like that!

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you!

  • ryan

    April 25, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Great way of taking a classic and making fun learning activities. My son is a bit young, but I love the idea of teaching spelling from this.

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you! My daughter is still a little young for spelling her name, but she recognizes the letters in her name and we had fun putting them together.

  • Jessica Peresta

    April 25, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    This has always been one of my very favorite books! Such a fun activity you created to go along with it too!

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thank you! It is such a classic!

  • Belle

    April 25, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    My kids love this book! We’re going to try and do the activity; looks so much fun!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      I hope you have fun with it!

  • Dara

    April 25, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I’ve always loved this book. The fine motor activity with the felt squares is great!

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you!

  • Emily

    April 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    I loved reading this book when I was little. I love all the activities related to this book!

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Thank you!

  • Meredith

    April 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    This is one of my absolute favorite books!!! I love those adorable caterpillars too, what an awesome idea!

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you so much! It is such a classic!

  • Kristin

    April 25, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Such great ideas! My kiddos love Eric Carle books.

  • Kim S

    April 25, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    This was my daughter’s theme for her first birthday! We love this book and are obsessed with all things about the very Hungry caterpillar!

    • Vicki

      April 25, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      That’s an awesome birthday theme! I bet it was adorable!

  • Krysten

    April 25, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    This is one of my favorite books to read to my son. He has just gotten into painting as well, so I think he would like the activities to go along with it.

    • Vicki

      April 26, 2017 at 11:58 am

      I’m so glad! I hope he has a lot of fun with them!

  • Brit Strawbridge

    April 26, 2017 at 6:55 am

    I can’t believe I haven’t read this book with my son yet – such a classic! & I love all the crafts to go along with it! Will have to try these out (& get the book! haha) Thanks for sharing!

    • Vicki

      April 26, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      I’m so glad! It is definitely a classic. I hope you have a lot of fun with it!

  • Lauren

    April 26, 2017 at 9:53 am

    What a great collection of activities. We love Eric Carle books and there are so many fun ways to engage kids in the story.

    • Vicki

      April 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you! I agree his books are so fun to bring to life!

  • Stephanie

    April 26, 2017 at 10:18 am

    This book is a household favorite! I absolutely love the spelling game idea, trying that one after lunch!

    • Vicki

      April 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you! I hope you have fun with it! My daughter insisted on carrying the caterpillar’s head around afterward showing him around the house!

  • Amanda Appiagyei

    April 26, 2017 at 10:44 am

    We LOVE this book. I read this to my first from 2 weeks old, and every day for about a year! He still enjoys it even though he’s almost 4! I love the squares of felt threaded onto a button and string, what a genius idea!

    • Vicki

      April 26, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Thank you! That is awesome that you have enjoyed it together for so long! It is such a fun one to read aloud!

  • Stephanie Cox

    April 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    What great activities that tie into one of our most beloved childrens books.

  • April Kitchens

    April 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Ahh, all these fun crafts! Caterpillar spelling looks fun, and my daughter loves the hungry caterpillar.

    • Vicki

      April 26, 2017 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you! My daughter had a lot of fun with it!

  • rachel

    April 26, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    Ooooh! I’m SO stealing this painting craft!!

    • Vicki

      April 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      I hope you have fun with it! My daughter loves carrying her caterpillar around!

  • Melissa

    April 27, 2017 at 10:35 am

    I love Eric Carle! These activities look like a lot of fun.

    • Vicki

      April 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Me too! Thank you!

  • Tabitha Blue

    April 27, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    This really is such a great book to work from, so many ideas!!

  • Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy

    April 28, 2017 at 5:24 am

    We love that book!! You have so many cute crafts to do! I love the button one. 🙂 Yay for fine motor coordination!

    • Vicki

      April 28, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Thank you! My daughter loves working on little fine motor things, so I’m constantly having to come up with new things to keep her motivated!

  • Alexandra

    April 28, 2017 at 6:26 am

    Loved that book as a kid 🙂 So fun to see it still around.

    • Vicki

      April 28, 2017 at 8:04 am

      It is such a classic!

  • Kate A

    May 2, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    This is one of our favorite books, and I love all the ideas to extend the learning!

    • Vicki

      May 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Thank you!

  • Elizabeth Brico

    May 4, 2017 at 12:49 am

    I used to have this book memorized. It was my middle child’s favorite. Whenever she would cry say on walks home from the grocery store I’d recite it on repeat to get her to stop. I can’t believe it but I’d actually forgotten about it! I wonder if she would still love these activities-it’s been a while since we’ve read it! But in any case your blog is amazing. You recommend the best books and your activities are so fun and creative. So I nominated you for the Blogger Recognition Award! Hoorah! http://www.bettysbattleground.com/2017/05/03/blogger-recognition-award/

    • Vicki

      May 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

      Aw, thank you so much! I appreciate the recognition! It is such a fun book for kids, and I have found myself repeating it to my daughter for the same reason!

  • Hil

    May 10, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    I love all the variety of activities you can do! I think I like the paper plate one best 🙂

    Thanks for participating this month in the #monthlycraftingbookclub

    • Vicki

      May 10, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Thank you! My daughter has been loving carrying her caterpillar around!