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?
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.