The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activities

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Hello Lovelies,

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book

This is not a lighthearted post, but a ‘teacher’ or Early Years post! It might also be interesting to parents of young children who want activity ideas to try at home linked to a particular book!

This particular book is the story of The Very Hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle.

We spent two weeks of work around this story this term. The children loved it and really embraced the story.

There are a number of resources linked to the story on Twinkle, a teacher resources webpage. Some are free and others are for Premium members who pay a subscription.

Here are some ideas:

Communication and Language-

  • use puppets, masks or story props to retell the story as if they were the Caterpillar (expressive arts link)
  • Discuss what happens when the story ends. . .where did the butterfly go next?
  • Talk about their favourite fruit and why. Listen to others explanations.
  • Retell the story using story language


  • put numbers on plastic bottle tops and get children to order numbers either one to 10 or 20 making a bottle top caterpillar number line

    Caterpillar Bottle Top Number Line
  • play build the caterpillar game. Have a cardboard laminated caterpillar head. Throw the dice and add that number of colour circles/ counters to make a caterpillar. Another child throws the dice and add more counters in a different colour to make a longer caterpillar.  Say or write the addition number sentence.  You can do the same to count out carefully any numbers or compare caterpillars to say which has more or less. You could also get children to make a caterpillar that has 1 more or 1 less than their partner made.
  • make a large symmetrical butterfly using objects. Work with a partner taking turns and  copying their pattern ( PSED link)
Make a symmetrical butterfly with a partner
  • measure caterpillars made by children using multilink cubes, a ruler or tape measure
  • sequence the life cycle of a butterfly and get children to use time language by talking about what happened when (day/night days of the week)


  • zig zag life cycle books. The children drew four pictures of an egg, caterpillar, cocoon and butterfly. Some just wrote the word, others wrote ‘It is a.. . . ‘ and others wrote their own sentences
zig zag butterfly life cycle book
  • Caterpillar speechbubbles to write what he is saying
The Very Hungry Caterpillar speech bubble
  • Go on a treasure or picture hunt and read the instructions e.g. ‘go to the egg’. We did this as part of our weekly choosing challenge and each picture had a number and they had to count out that number of items corerectly (numeracy link) before reading the next instruction
The very hungry caterpillar picture hunt
  • make a new front cover for the book
  • Storytelling PIe Corbett style of the story

This is one we decided on at school, so I thought I would share in case anyone wanted to copy.


  • look at baby pictures and talk about how they have grown since. What can they do now they couldn’t do before (Understanding the world link)
  • My class is Caterpillar class so when we first start the year each child has a caterpillar with four photos of them playing or doing class activities that are stuck on the caterpillar body. It is laminated and sent home later in the year, a lovely reminder.


  • fine motor skills threading to make a caterpillar. We used multilink cubes, but you could use pasta, beads or cotton reels
threading a multilink caterpillar
  • make a caterpillar out of play dough and decorate with other media- straws, pipe cleaners, sticks, googly eyes etc.
  • thread in and out of hole punched leaves just like a caterpillar eating
  • Talk about healthy and unhealthy food

Understanding of the World

  • cooking- cocoon sausage rolls, fruit kebab caterpillars
sausage roll cocoons
  • discuss life cycles and change. Watch a video showing the metamorphosis of a butterfly

Expressive Arts and Design

  • create your own caterpillar or butterfly  from paint, junk, pastels, crates, tyres and hoops
  • hand print painted caterpillars
Hand print Caterpillar
  • make a paper chain caterpillar using glue and different media to combine and adapt
paper chain caterpillar
  • a caterpillar life cycle dance from egg to butterfly. The children start of as a curled up egg, they rock as they try to push their way out. They hatch out, crawl around like a caterpillar stopping to eat lots of food. They spin into a cocoon, and then one wing comes out, another and they fly round as a butterfly. we have several pieces of music we put together for them to dance to.
  • Caterpillar songs:
  • The Caterpillar song
  • There’s a tiny caterpillar on a leaf

Tuff Spot/ Water Tray

  • sort play food from the story into healthy and unhealthy. Put it in a sensory tub with rice, tea, coffee, porridge etc
  • green colouring spaghetti caterpillars. We made the children search for the magnetic letters hidden amongst the spaghetti to make the word Caterpillar on a magnetic whiteboard. They loved getting messy and the spaghetti even found it’s way on the wall!
caterpillar spaghetti letter hunt
  • We hid animal mother and baby pictures and words in amongst shredded paper and the children had to try and find them and match them
Shredded paper animal mother and baby match

ICT- games linked

Counting caterpillar ICT games


There are lots of other ideas you can find and adapt and they make a lovely display too!

Have Fun,

Honestly Fiona xx