Despite being published over 50 years ago, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar still resonates with kids today. It is so beloved that there is even a special day dedicated to this favorite book: March 20 is known as Very Hungry Caterpillar Day around the world. Some even celebrate author Eric Carle’s birthday on June 25. Whether you are in the mood for a good art project, science lesson, or even a healthy snack, the possibilities for classroom activities based on this beloved tale are endless. Check out our favorite Very Hungry Caterpillar activities that celebrate this classic children’s book.
1. Caterpillar Necklace
This caterpillar necklace is a fantastic way to get kids’ imaginations going and support fine motor skills. This simple activity involves threading dyed penne noodles and paper discs cut from construction paper onto a piece of yarn. Tie off the ends, and your kids will have a fancy necklace to share with their families.
Learn more: Hands On as We Grow
2. Tissue Paper Butterflies
This colorful craft is as fun as it is pretty! Children tear squares from thick sheets of tissue paper and glue them onto a pre-cut card-stock butterfly to replicate the one at the end of the book.
Learn more: Preschool Play
3. Hungry Caterpillar Puppets
Download the free printable or create your own puppets based on the story. Regardless of whether kids want to re-create the story from memory or create their own, fun is sure to be had!
Learn more: Sugar, Spice, and Glitter
4. Caterpillar Headband
After reading the story, make these fun caterpillar headbands out of colored construction paper and have a fun parade around the classroom!
Learn more: Lisa’s Libraryland
5. Egg Carton Caterpillar
No activity roundup 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 memorable activities (and keepsakes) that every kid loves.
Learn more: Two Pink Peonies
6. Beaded Caterpillar
We love how simple this project is, since all you will need are some pipe cleaners and beads and maybe some green card stock. Kids will be working on their fine motor control while getting creative.
Learn more: Artsy Craftsy Mom
7. Paper Plate Caterpillar
This activity helps students engage with the story, learn the days of the week, practice their counting skills, and learn about healthy eating!
Learn more: Learning Through Play
8. Tissue Box Caterpillar
Create a caterpillar on the top of a tissue box, then poke holes in the caterpillar’s body. Finally, have your students work on their fine motor skills by dropping red and green pom-poms into the holes.
Learn more: Happy Tot Shelf
9. Caterpillar Letter Sort
Being able to recognize the similarities and differences between letters is an important skill for early readers and writers. With this fun activity, kids build caterpillars letter by letter by sorting them into curves and straights.
Learn more: Growing Book by Book
10. Cupcake Liner Caterpillars
Flatten some green and red cupcake liners, add googly eyes and sequins, then create this adorable caterpillar. You can get other colored cupcake liners as well so you can create the butterfly at the end of the book too!
Learn more: In the Playroom
11. Clothespin Story Retelling
This activity is a fun way to work on another important literacy skill: sequencing. After reading the story together, students can retell it in order by clipping the story sequence circles (download here) onto the caterpillar body.
Learn more: School Time Snippets
12. Caterpillar Word Puzzles
These simple, colorful word puzzles are a novel way to practice letter sounds, shape recognition, word building, and fine motor skills. Download templates here.
Learn more: Playdough to Plato
13. LEGO Caterpillar Creations
Challenge your students to create scenes from The Very Hungry Caterpillar using LEGO or even Duplos.
Learn more: Spongy Kids
14. Caterpillar Fine Motor Activity
Speaking of fine motor skills, kids will love this activity. They will chomp and munch through the fruit shapes using a caterpillar hole punch. Have them retell the story as they munch so you can check for comprehension.
Learn more: Modern Preschool
15. Grassy Caterpillar
Get your hands dirty and give a little nature lesson while celebrating The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This blog gives you step-by-step directions (scroll down to Thursday’s entry) for creating your own project.
Learn more: Toys in the Dryer
16. A Butterfly’s Life Cycle
Read the story to your students, then create the life cycle of a butterfly. We love Very Hungry Caterpillar activities that can be re-created using items you likely already have at home or can gather during a nature walk.
Learn more: Somewhat Simple
17. Caterpillar Pop-Up Book
This adorable book features a little caterpillar lying on a leaf on the cover, his cozy cocoon on the back, and the butterfly he becomes in the middle. Hang these books from your classroom ceiling for a colorful display.
Learn more: Mrs. T’s First Grade Class
18. Storytelling Basket
Use this fun basket when reading the story with your class, then have it available afterward for kids to enjoy in a choice center. Include the book, a caterpillar, a butterfly, and plastic foods for the caterpillar to munch on.
Learn more: The Imagination Tree
19. Play Dough Scenes
This activity will be sure to delight your students since young kids love to play with play dough. Provide them with a rainbow of colors, then watch as they re-create scenes from the beloved story.
Learn more: Rainy Day Mum
20. Caterpillar Fingerprint Counting
Looking for Very Hungry Caterpillar activities that combine art and math? These free fingerprint counting printables make learning number sense fun while giving your kids a chance to get their hands messy. Also, check out Totschooling’s free dot-paint packet, which includes tons of activities to help kids work on fine motor skills, counting skills, prereading and prewriting skills, and more.
Learn more: Totschooling
21. Hungry Caterpillar Bug Jars
Use pom-poms, pipe cleaners, and googly eyes to create these adorable caterpillars. Cut out some fresh green leaves, pop them in a mason jar, and give your students their very own lovable pet.
Learn more: Olives Originals
22. Classroom Caterpillar
Have each student paint a green circle on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of white card stock. If you have time to take and print photos of each child, have them glue their photo inside of their circle. If not, ask each student to draw a self-portrait. Join the children’s pages together with staples or tape and add the caterpillar’s head (see photo for sample). Hang your class caterpillar in the hall outside your classroom or on your door to share with your school.
Learn more: The Educators’ Spin on It
23. Caterpillar Names
While crafts are great for working our little ones’ creative minds, we love that this project works on letter recognition, name building, and pattern creation as well.
Learn more: Littlest Bookworms
24. Apple Caterpillars
Use the Very Hungry Caterpillar story as a jumping-off point for a discussion about healthy eating, then have your students create this adorable snack. Be sure to check for allergies before creating this tasty little guy with your little chefs.
Learn more: Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons
25. Food Printables
Use this free printable to create fruit, caterpillar, leaf, and butterfly pieces, then spread them out on a large white sheet on the floor. Test your students’ recollection skills as they act out the events in the story.
Learn more: Artsy Momma