Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

As I mentioned, we've been reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar frequently as of late. We borrowed it from the library (I'm a little ashamed to admit we don't actually OWN this one!), and it's one my daughter requests almost daily. So when she got up a little early from her nap yesterday, I had this project waiting on her. :)

You will need:
  • One piece of construction paper (any color... looking back on it, blue would have been kind of nice)
  • One yellow circle shape cut out
  • One green leaf shape cut out (I drew "veins" with a black Sharpie to make it look a little more leaf-like)
  • One small circle shape cut out (I chose green, though the real one is red)
  • Several oval shapes cut out in various colors (okay, so the real caterpillar in the book looks a bit different, but we went for color!)
  • A few small black rectangles (for legs)
  • One wiggly eye (optional, not pictured)
  • Glue
  • Hole punch (coming up later)

I don't have anything fancy to cut shapes with in this house, so I use household items to trace things and then cut them out myself. I used the bottom of a glass for the yellow sun, a round spice container for the caterpillar's head, and a flavor extract bottle for the caterpillar's body pieces. Hmm... cumin and orange extract. I wouldn't necessarily recommend that combination.

For the leaf, I just drew a basic leaf shape and cut it out. Nothing fancy. :) I also just cut little matchsticks out of black construction paper for the legs... no tracing involved.

Help your child glue the pieces on the paper in the order he/she sees fit. Because I still have a pretty young toddler, I gave her a choice of two colors at a time, let her pick, and glue that one on. We continued until we ran out of room, and had ovals leftover.

If you are also working with a younger child, you may want to consider the following options to make your project go a little easier:
  • Draw a line with a pen or a Sharpie, and instruct your child to glue the caterpillar parts on the line
  • Squeeze out a line of glue on the paper, and instruct your child to attach the caterpillar parts to the glue
  • Give your child only one piece at a time and ask questions such as "Do you want purple to go next to blue or red?" as you point to the available spots. (This is what we did, and it worked just fine.)

Next comes the fun part! As the story reads, "the caterpillar ate through one nice green leaf, and after that he felt much better." Help your child punch holes in the leaf as if the caterpillar were "eating" it. My daughter got such a kick out of this!

Our finished product! We added a wiggly eye because my daughter asked for one. I was just going to help her draw one. :)


  1. Too Cute. One of my all time favs. Another way we make the caterpillar and other Eric Carle critters; the kids finger paint in the colors he uses in his books. Cut out shapes and create the caterpillar/bugs. The fingerpaints look like his paper art. You can create your books, bulletin boards, etc.

  2. @ Nanette - Oh, I LOVE this idea! I will have to choose another one of our favorite Eric Carle books for this sometime soon! :)