The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Of course we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle many times during our caterpillar/butterfly theme!  We made caterpillar puppets, colored placemats, and practiced the days of the week.  Our stained glass butterflies also complimented the art from the book too.

Caterpillar Puppets

These caterpillar puppets were lots of fun!  I was inspired by a kit in the Oriental Trading Company’s catalog.  To make them we used: red cardstock, green cardstock (light and dark colored), black paper, green paint, sponges, paper fasteners, black pipe cleaner, and two Popsicle sticks.

Ahead of time, I cut out five circles (one red, two light green, and two dark green).  The girls sponge painted the green circles.  We hadn’t done sponge painting before and they thought it was hilarious.  Then they glued the eyes and nose/mouth (they both called it something different).  I connected the pieces with the paper fasteners so that they can move together then we glued on the pipe cleaner antennas  and the Popsicle stick handles.

Our puppets also went great with the book Balloons Over Broadway, The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet.  We got this book at Thanksgiving time and the girls never let us put it away.  They love reading about the puppets!  It is a great book.  And Tony Sarg, the creator of the famous Macy’s Parade balloons, was actually inspired by a very similar caterpillar puppet.


When searching for printouts for The Very Hungry Caterpillar, most were someone else’s drawings, not Eric Carle’s.  I finally found this coloring page.  After talking about the food in the picture, it was actually the girls’ idea to make them placemats.  I just ran each page through the laminator and we’ve been using them for the past week.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar coloring sheet

Days of the Week

For each day during the week we ate the food the caterpillar ate that day as best we could–apples, pears, strawberries, and oranges.  We weren’t able to get plums so we ate prunes instead.  🙂

We also sang this song courtesy of Homeschool Share.  It goes to the tune of the Adam’s Family theme song:

Days of the week (snap, snap), Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday
And then there’s Saturday
Days of the week (snap, snap), Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week (snap, snap)



Setting our butterflies free

We set our butterflies free just the other day!  The girls and I were all a little sad to see them go.  I was also a little surprised at how hard it was to get them to go free–they just wouldn’t fly out of their home at first.  Here is a picture of the girls saying good-bye.

Overall, this has been a really cool project.  The first morning most of the butterflies had hatched from their chrysalis (4 of the 5), the girls stood there talking to them all morning.  They introduced themselves and would sing songs to the butterflies.  It was so cute!  They loved just watching them, which really helped two rambunctious little girls practice being calm and still and observant.

In case you missed it in the Live Caterpillar Fun post, our butterflies first arrived as tiny caterpillars which we ordered through Insect Lore.  They came in a cup with food and a butterfly house as well as directions for feeding and caring for them at each stage.  Five caterpillars were included in the kit; however, one hatched with crumbled wings and didn’t survive very long, which caused the girls to learn even more about the circle of life than originally planned.

In addition to the books we checked out from the library, we really enjoyed Science is Simple. It is the book that gave us the idea to order butterflies and included suggestions for discussion and activities.

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