To honor the legacy of children’s author/illustrator Eric Carle, we’ve pulled some of the best The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities, crafts, and DIY ideas for summer fun based on this children’s classic. After reading the book together, try out one or more of these at-home The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities for toddlers and older kids alike!
Sensory bins let children explore textures, colors, and sounds while they play. This DIY activity tub features elements from the storybook that toddlers will absolutely love. As you play together, count the foods, recall the caterpillar’s journey, and build motor skills like pouring and scooping. For full instructions and inspiration, follow the linked tutorial on how to create this fun sensory bin at home.
This quick craft only requires a few supplies and is sure to be a hit with toddlers and older kids alike. Gather up your potato mashers, some kid-friendly paint, and construction paper, and you’re ready to create a band of happy little hungry caterpillars.
For your preschool and kindergarten aged kids, this packet includes 35 printable activities. The Very Hungry Caterpillar worksheets and printables focus on important skills like tracing, sequencing, matching, and letter practice. Make sure you have crayons, cotton ear-buds, and paint on hand for the creative activities. Bonus tip: laminate your printed pages so you’re ready for the next round of memory matching!
Caterpillar Snack Time
This one is best for a group, like a classroom or playgroup. Prepare a variety of the Caterpillar’s favorite snacks, like apple slices, orange sections, cheese slices, and a lollipop for each diner. Another option is to use cucumber slices or green grapes and sliced cherry tomatoes to create an edible Caterpillar. Use a green plate or napkin to represent a crunchy leaf. Children can work together on their snack time creation.
While kids eat their snack, discuss which foods everyone likes the most. What would they want to eat before becoming a butterfly? This is also a great time to talk about the emotions The Very Hungry Caterpillar brings up. How would the Caterpillar feel when he pops out of the egg? What does hunger feel like? How would the Caterpillar feel after eating all that food? How would breaking out of the cocoon feel? This toddler-approved activity works on important communication skills, identifying emotions, and discussing different opinions.
This activity is great for building up those fine motor skills, like hand-eye coordination and concentration. Once you’ve cut out your leaf shapes from paper or cardboard, use a hole punch along the edge. Using a colorful yarn as a thread, demonstrate how to weave in and out of the holes until they get the hang of it. Lacing cards are a fantastic independent activity for toddlers, perfect for car trips or quiet play at home.
For those rainy summer days, try out a printable yoga and movement plan that’s fun for everyone! Each plan includes movement cards, quick activities, and science facts. Poses are inspired by the butterfly life cycle. Choose from a variety of bundles to suit your classroom or family.
Learn how to illustrate with painted tissue paper just like author/illustrator Eric Carle. This craft can be a bit messy, so be prepared with smocks and a table covering.
Mrs. Beth explains Carle’s process while showing how to paint the delicate paper in this soothing video.
Get creative with your caterpillars and have fun!
Classic children’s books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar are beloved worldwide, 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 at hand.
Need more Eric Carle for your summer reading? Check out The 10 Best Eric Carle Books. And for the budding foodie, add these 10 Picture Books to Broaden The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s Palate to your shelf.