Spring has finally arrived and I am excited! Lovely flowers popping up from the soil, birds chirping away and bathing in the sunshine – there are so many new forms of life to see and enjoy. Spring always brings to mind one of my favorite books: Eric Carle’s "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". A book for all ages, filled with promise, new beginnings and vibrant color that we miss during the long winter months.
I love this story. Each time I read it to my students, their faces light up and they read right along with me by memory. It is a participatory book with colors, counting, food recognition and metamorphosis all bundled into one lovely package. It is a preschool teacher’s dream.
I am an early childhood educator and I have been inspired by Eric Carle throughout the years. He is my "go to author" when curriculum writer’s block hits. I would like to share with you some of the projects that have been derived from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" today. I promise that you and your children, nieces, nephews, students, etc. will love to create and enjoy!
Activity #1. Let’s make our own "The Very Hungry Caterpilla" lookbook.
After reading the book to your audience of children, have them retell the story back to you.
Jot down their version and who said what. For example, "the caterpillar had a bad tummy-ache" said Sara. The children love recognition when you read their names and give them credit. After you have finished writing, find two large pieces of construction paper to fold in half to create your book. Ask the children to draw pictures of their favorite parts of the book to coincide with their story. You can have them cut out the pictures, too, if they are able.
While they are drawing and cutting, write their story into the large lookbook taking care to leave space for them to paste their drawings inside. After the pictures are affixed into your book, allow it to dry. Revisit the lookbook in a few hours or before naptime; the children will love to hear their version and see their pictures. You will enjoy seeing their faces light up with pride!
Activity#2. Time for "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" picnic!
This is such a fun activity for all to engage in and brings everyone to the kitchen. The Very Hungry Caterpillar has much to do about eating, and who doesn’t love a good picnic? Have a good chat about all the different food and snacks that the caterpillar eats throughout the story. Make a list of the yummy treats that you can prepare and share together. Of course you can add any delicious foods that you want! I have brought salami, cheese, pickles, bread and all sorts of fruit on my picnic. Everyone can make a sandwich and grab a piece of fruit of their choice. Don’t forget the cake! When you are finished eating, it’s always fun to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and rest for a bit. Happy picnic-ing to you!
When the sunshine finally arrives, you will have a fantastic day of creating, feasting and celebrating. "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" is full of inspiration and color; it makes you feel happy! I know you’ll find these activities fun to do; I love anything that brings people of all ages together.
If you have anything special that was inspired by Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar, please share with us!! We always love to hear from our friends!
Happy Spring Time!