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To honor the legacy of children’s author / illustrator Eric Carle, we have selected some of the best The hungry caterpillar activities, crafts and craft ideas for summer fun based on this children’s classic. After reading the book together, try one or more of these The hungry caterpillar activities for toddlers and adults!
Sensory bins allow children to explore textures, colors and sounds as they play. This DIY activity tub includes elements from the storybook toddlers will love. As you play together, count foods, recall the caterpillar’s journey, and develop motor skills like pouring and scooping. For full instructions and inspiration, follow the linked tutorial on how to create this fun sensory trash can at home.
This quick DIY only requires a few supplies and is sure to be a hit with toddlers and older children. Gather your mashed potatoes, children’s paint, and construction paper, and you’re ready to create a bunch of happy, hungry little caterpillars.
For your preschool and kindergarteners, this pack includes 35 printable activities. The hungry caterpillar worksheets and printables focus on important skills such as tracing, sequencing, matching and practicing letters. Make sure you have crayons, cotton headphones, and paint handy for creative activities. Bonus tip: laminate your printed pages to be ready for the next round of memory matches!
Caterpillar snack time
This one is ideal for a group, such as a classroom or a playgroup. Prepare a variety of Caterpillar favorite snacks like apple slices, orange slices, cheese slices and a lollipop for each guest. Another option is to use cucumber slices or green grapes and cherry tomato slices to create an edible caterpillar. Use a green plate or napkin to represent a crispy leaf. Children can work together to create their own snack.
While the children eat their snacks, discuss the foods that everyone likes the most. What would they like to eat before becoming a butterfly? It’s also a good time to talk about emotions The hungry caterpillar make appear. How would the caterpillar feel when it hatched from the egg? What does hunger look like? How would the caterpillar feel after eating all this food? What would it be like to come out of the cocoon? This toddler-approved activity works on important communication skills, identifying emotions and discussing different opinions.
This activity is ideal for developing fine motor skills, such as hand-eye coordination and concentration. Once you have cut your leaf shapes out of paper or cardboard, use a hole punch along the edge. Using colored thread as the thread, demonstrate how to get in and out of the holes until they get used to it. Lacing cards are a fantastic independent activity for toddlers, perfect for road trips or quiet play at home.
For those rainy summer days, try a printable yoga and movement plan that’s fun for everyone! Each plan includes motion maps, quick activities, and science facts. The poses are inspired by the life cycle of butterflies. Choose from a variety of packages to suit your class or family.
Learn to illustrate with painted tissue paper just like author / illustrator Eric Carle. This craft can get a bit messy, so prepare yourself with some smocks and a tablecloth.
Ms. Beth explains Carle’s process while showing how to paint the delicate paper in this calming video.
Be creative with your caterpillars and have fun!
Classic children’s books like The hungry caterpillar are loved around the world, making activities and crafts more accessible than ever. Let your imagination run wild this summer with exciting ways to express your favorite books with materials you already have on hand.
Need more Eric Carle for your summer reading? Check out the 10 best books by Eric Carle. And for the budding foodie, add these 10 picture books to expand the palate of the very hungry caterpillar to your shelf.