The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Finest Actions for the Classroom and Past

Eric Carles The Very Hungry Caterpillar was originally released over 50 years ago! During that time, not only has it become a popular classic in the home and classroom, but it has also inspired hundreds of crafts and lessons! We wanted to celebrate the death of beloved author and illustrator last month with fifteen of our favorite activities from The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

1. caterpillar track

Source: Hands On As We Grow

This caterpillar track is a fantastic way to stimulate children’s imaginations and aid fine motor skills. This simple activity consists of threading colored penne pasta and paper disks cut from construction paper onto a piece of yarn. Tie off the ends and your kids will have a chic necklace to share with their family.

2. Tissue paper butterflies

Source: Preschool Game

This colorful craft is as much fun as it is beautiful! Children tear squares out of thick tissue paper and glue them onto a pre-cut cardboard butterfly.

3. Caterpillar headband

Source: Lisa’s Library Land

After reading the story, make these fun caterpillar headbands out of colored construction paper and have a fun parade around the classroom!

4. Egg carton caterpillar

Source: Two Pink Peonies

No activity summary for The Very Hungry Caterpillar would be complete without the classic egg carton caterpillar. Yes, it’s been done before, but it’s one of those unforgettable activities (and keepsakes) that every child loves.

5. Paper plate caterpillar

Source: Learning by playing

This activity will help students engage in history, learn the days of the week, practice their counting skills, and learn about healthy eating!

6. Caterpillar letter sorting

Source: Growing book by book

Being able to see the similarities and differences between letters is an important skill for early readers and writers. In this fun activity, kids build letter by letter by sorting them into curves and straight lines.

7. Retelling the clothespin story

Source: excerpts from school

This activity is a fun way to work on another important reading skill – sequencing. After the students have read the story together, they can retell it one after the other by clipping the circles in the story sequence (download here) onto the caterpillar’s body.

8. Caterpillar word puzzle

Source: Plasticine for Plato

These simple, colorful word puzzles are a new way to practice letter sounds, shape recognition, word formation and fine motor skills. Download templates here.

9. Fine motor activity

Source: Modern Preschool

Speaking of fine motor skills, kids will love this activity. You will chew and chew through the fruit molds with a caterpillar punch. Have them retell the story while they chew so you can verify understanding.

10. Grass caterpillar

Source: Toys in the Dryer

Get your hands dirty and teach a little nature lesson while celebrating The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This blog gives you a step-by-step guide (scroll down to Thursday’s entry) to create your own project.

11. Caterpillar pop-up book

Source: First Class of Ms. T.

This adorable book features a tiny caterpillar perched on a sheet of paper on the cover, its cozy cocoon on the back, and the butterfly it becomes in the middle. Hang these books on the ceiling of your classroom for a colorful presentation.

12. Storytelling basket

Source: The Imagination Tree

Use this fun basket as you read the story with your class and then keep it available for the kids at a selection center afterwards. Add the book, a caterpillar, a butterfly, and plastic food for the caterpillar to chew.

13. Caterpillar fingerprint count

Source: Totschooling

Looking for a fun caterpillar activity that combines art and math? These free fingerprint counting prints will make learning numbers fun and will give your kids a chance to get their hands messy. Also, check out Totschooling’s free Dot Paint package, which has tons of activities to help kids work on fine motor skills, counting skills, reading and prescribing skills, and more.

14. Hungry Caterpillar Bug Jars

Source: Olives Originals

Use pompoms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes to create these adorable caterpillars. Cut out some fresh green leaves, place them in a mason jar, and give your students their very own personal pet.

15. Classroom caterpillar

Source: The Educators Spin On It

Have each student draw a green circle on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of white card stock. When you have time to take photos of each child and print them out, have them glue their photo in their circle. If not, ask each student to draw a self-portrait. Connect the children’s sides with staples or tape and add the caterpillar head (see photo for example). Hang your classmobile in the hallway outside your classroom or on your door to share with your school.

What are your favorite The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers Helpline group on Facebook.

Also, check out the best camping books for kids.

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