Whilst my 3 year old was busy painting a caterpillar it occurred to me that we’ve done a few caterpillar themed activities now, so definitely time for me to share a round up post of The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities for early years. These activities are aimed at older babies, toddlers and preschoolers, however early years primary aged children will also enjoy taking part in most of them. These activities don’t take too many resources to put together. First off the book is an essential and then either look for things around your home or at the end of this post I have added in a list of some resources that will be useful. With most of the activities I try to add in some extendable learning with extra play ideas to make the activities last longer or encourage open ended play.
This one is an easy old school make. All you need is an egg box or two and some paint.
Simply let your little one loose with a green paint brush and let them paint a whole egg box green and with the other egg box paint one section red. Once dry cut and assemble the caterpillar together. I used a single hole puncher to punch holes to thread some wool through. Older children can thread the wool through themselves. We used the locking flap of the egg box to paint some caterpillar feelers or you could use pipe cleaners. All you need is some eyes and your caterpillar is created!
Extra activity – We used leftover paint to mix the colours together and create a caterpillar coloured pasta necklace.
Find somewhere cozy to settle down and read your little one the classic tale of The very hungry caterpillar. Fill a box with some play food and bring the tale alive with the caterpillar munching on fruit, vegetables and treats. You can extend play by adding some play caterpillars, butterflies and bugs into a tray of dry rice or cooked spaghetti.
This post has 4 more additional fun Spring sensory play ideas.
Using my own play dough recipe we learnt about the caterpillar to butterfly life cycle whilst working those little hands and imaginations with play dough time. The very hungry caterpillar play dough mats can be printed from Twinkl resources and then we laminated them at home to make them wipe clean and reusable. Play dough is always a winner in our house!
Last year we worked with Insect Lore and we were kindly gifted a caterpillar kit to review at home. All 5 of our caterpillars transformed into butterflies. It sparked an interest in caterpillars and the life cycle, we explored further by researching the life cycle more and watching the Very Hungry Caterpillar and reading the story lots. Teddy also drew some beautiful butterfly pictures.
It was good for the children to learn about life cycles in the possibility that not all of them would survive, or in our case one that emerged different to the others. The kids excitement of their new pet caterpillars arriving and also the excitement of releasing them to fly away and cheer them on their next part of their journey was lovely to see.
You can also re-use all the equipment for another batch of caterpillars another time and you’re helping nature by increasing the butterflies in your neighbourhood.
Read all about our review of the caterpillar kit here
Have a fun themed day with themed caterpillar food, watch the animated story of the very hungry caterpillar on Youtube and enjoy sharing the book together. Our kids really enjoyed having a caterpillar sandwich lunch. I used the end of a red pepper, eyes of cheese and spinach and grapes all attached to filled sandwiches with cocktail sticks.
Go on a fun bug hunt and try and spot some caterpillars in the park. Make it more interesting by going on a bug scavenger hunt.
Click here for my printable scavenger bug hunt to download for free
I have included at the end of the post my pinterest board for some extra very hungry caterpillar activities for early years. I would lobe to hera if you try any of these activities at home or in a childcare setting.