Crafts & Activities for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"

Written by k. d. wicks
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Crafts & Activities for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
The caterpillar life cycle has been the inspiration for many child-oriented art, stories and activities. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle is a modern classic in children's literature. This colourful book has been used to entertain and teach children from infancy through elementary school. Potential points of focus for crafts, activities and other teaching opportunities include the caterpillar life cycle, days of the week, colours, counting, story sequencing and more.

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Movement and Science

Teach the life cycle of the caterpillar through a movement activity. Have the children start out squatting and hugging their knees to form eggs and then wiggle and squirm as they stand to imitate the caterpillar. Have the children pretend to eat paper leaves or foods from the book. The children can then act out the pupa stage by crawling into green sleeping bags or under sheets that have colourful scarves or fabric scraps hidden inside. Finally, the children become butterflies by popping out of the bags or sheets, unfurling the handkerchiefs and waving them like wings.

Crafts & Activities for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
Scarves can lend a colourful element to movement activities. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Collage Art

A group of children can work together to create a mural or each child can make an individual collage. For a mural, you will need a large roll of craft or banner paper. For individual works, construction paper is suitable. The hungry caterpillar, its foods or scenes from the book can be recreated by tearing, gluing and painting shredded/torn pieces of construction or tissue paper. Preschoolers can name the colours, while older children can learn basic colour theory.

Food and Nutrition

Have a picnic featuring all of the foods the very hungry caterpillar consumes in the book. Children can help write the menu, shop for the foods or lay them out at the picnic. Treat children to a caterpillar cake made from cupcakes. Older children can help decorate the cupcakes and build the caterpillar with them. Discuss the food groups, healthy portions and the modified food pyramid. You can also talk about why the caterpillar probably got a stomach ache on Saturday.

Story Sequencing

Teach story sequencing and plot while crafting by creating a flip book, felt board or magnet board. Print and colour or draw the elements of the story. For a flip book, create the images on card stock and use a hole punch on each. Have the children attach the images in order with yarn or a loose-leaf ring through the hole. Laminate the card stock images and put magnets on the back for storyboarding on a dry-erase board. Cut the caterpillar and food shapes out of colourful felt to allow children to retell the story on a flannel board.

Crafts & Activities for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
A felt or flannel board is one way to explore plot and story sequencing. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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