The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities and ideas

Looking for some The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities and ideas to add in lots of fun and learning? Here are some of our favourite ways to use one of our all time favourite story books.

Fantastic ideas for The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities, games and crafts

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities

Explore the colours and textures in The Very Hungry Caterpillar with some beautiful butterfly craft ideas.

Talk about the feelings in the book. How might the caterpillar feel when he pops out of the egg? When he’s eaten all that food? When he’s inside his cocoon? When he emerges as a butterfly?

the very hungry caterpillar activities
Encourage fine motor skills by taking a string caterpillar for a munch around one nice green leaf made from a piece of card with holes punched in.

Encourage some imagining. If the children could change into any kind of animal, what would they like to be? How would they move? What would they eat? Maybe they could draw themselves as this creature, with a photograph of their face added on?

Have fun with some gross motor skills, using your body to creep like a caterpillar, snuggle in a cocoon and then flutter like a butterfly.

Explore the food in the book and taste test some of the food: what tastes best, pickles or cherry pie? You can carry out a survey to see which food is the favourite and graph the results. Or play a guessing game, wearing a blindfold and smelling and tasting the food and trying to guess what they all are without peeping.

the very hungry caterpillar activities

Make a model caterpillar to re-tell the story or take into the garden for some small world play.

Have some fun with printing, using cut apples, pears and oranges to dip in paint and create some designs.

Mix in some maths by using your fruit prints to make some cards, and them counting out the right number of fruits to match the story and ordering them in ascending / descending order.

Take some The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities outside and go on a leaf hunt. How many different leaf shapes can you find. Is there one just like the leaf in the book? Or try some mini beast bingo and see if you can find a real caterpillar to observe.

the very hungry caterpillar activities

Eat a caterpillar! Invite the children into the kitchen to prepare their own caterpillar lunch, using cucumber and tomato slices to create the body.

Talk about the metamorphosis of the caterpillar to a butterfly and compare it with the children. What did they look like when they were a baby? How will they change when they grow up? Use pictures from magazines or photographs of their own family to make a ‘growing up’ timeline of butterflies and people.

Practise some memory skills by playing Kim’s Game. Lay out some of the objects in the story, cover them with a cloth and remove one. Can the children spot which one is missing?

We love to use a book as a springboard for lots of different aspects of play and learning. Once you start  thinking about the possibilities it’s easy to take something the children love and weave in literacy, maths, role play, physical skills and learning about the world around us.

More creative ways to use nature to inspire learning

Fill your year with hands-on, creative learning inspired by nature. Click through to see our Garden Classroom resource and get your free Garden Journal.

garden activities for kids cta


  1. says

    I love all your caterpillar ideas! Every Tuesday I do a story time with craft idea and I have “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” on my list in a couple weeks. I will have to use some of your ideas. Thank you.

  2. says

    Cathy – you are a genius! So many great ideas. Love the cucumber caterpillar, we’ll be inviting one to join us for lunch tomorrow! 😉

  3. Caroline says

    My 2 year old loved the caterpillars I made him for tea today, inspired by your photo here. I cut an omelette into circles with a biscuit cutter, and alternated this with large carrot slices and courgette slices, then added a potato smiley face head!
    We made daddy, mummy and toddler caterpillars on the plate (3 descending a little in size). I have a great photo but not sure I can post it on here.

  4. says

    Isn’t Eric Carle fun? I love the cucumber idea- now only if I can get my kids to eat them! Thanks for sharing on The Sunday Showcase!

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