The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I did this program last year right around this time, and thought I would post it so that other librarians and libraries could use it!

Flannelboard: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”

I knew that most of the kids attending this program had likely read the book prior to signing up. At first I was going to combat that by using the pop-up version to add a little twist. But then, I discovered flannelboard templates online and the rest was history.

(And because I still adore this flannelboard, I went and took some better pictures of it!)

My favorite piece is the butterfly wing! I did a ton of painting to get it to look at close to the book’s illustrations as I could.

After the flannel (which was a HUGE hit; I had a lot of kids “reading” the story along with me), we sang a little song with our pretend butterfly hands.

Song: “Fly Fly Butterfly” (Tune: “Skip to My Lou”)
Fly fly fly butterfly
Fly fly fly butterfly
Fly fly fly butterfly
Fly high up in the sky.
Credit: The Virtual Vine

After our storytime portion, I did a game with the kids:

Game: Caterpillar Race
Form two teams of three. The course should be about 20 feet long, marked with a start and finish line. To play this game you’ll need 4 balloons. Each team lines up single file. Each player sandwiches a balloon between herself and the person in front of her. Each team is a little caterpillar! First team to run around the cones and back while keeping the balloons between them wins. (And you can’t use your hands to get the balloons in place!)
Credit: PBS Kids Zoom

For my kids, I modified by allowing hands to help the balloons and pairing kids up instead of making teams of three. I had a lot of younger threes/fours at the program and knew that the game would be too difficult.

And then, I did two different crafts with the kids!

Butterfly/Caterpillar Craft:
• Glue pom-poms onto one side of clothes-pin. Twist 3 inch piece of pipe cleaner around top end to form antenna. Let dry.
Butterfly wings:
• Lay paper towel flat. Mix water and food coloring to make “paint.” Use paint brush to paint the paper towel. The more colors you use, the more colorful the butterfly. Allow to dry. When dry, fan fold the paper towel into approx. ½ inch sections.
Credit: DLTK Kids

I actually did the caterpillars ahead of time, using hot glue and making sure that it was nice and dry for the kids. And I SO did not want to mess with food coloring with preschoolers, so I wound up using watercolor paint. It worked just as well, with way less mess!

Bookmark Craft:
Use fingerpaint to make a caterpillar crawling across the bookmark. Add legs, eyes, and mouth with a black marker when dry. Hole-punch a hole at the top of the bookmark and tie a ribbon through it to finish it off.
Credit: Domesticali

I called each child up one at a time while they were watercolor painting and had them dip their fingers in fingerpaint to make the bookmark. Instead of taking each child to the sink after their turn — I used hand/face wipes from the store. Another way to simplify my life!

Then, while their butterflies and their bookmarks were drying, we played one more game!

Game: Butterfly Match-Up
Cut butterflies out of cardstock and then cut them in half. Hide them around the room and ask the children to help you match up the butterflies.
Credit: The Virtual Vine

Afterwards, each child got to keep the butterfly they matched up and took home both crafts. This program was a really big success as far as I’m concerned, and I had a lot of pleased parents leaving the programming room that day.

11 comments on “The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  1. Brianna
    April 13, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    This is the most beautiful, colorful felt story I’ve ever seen! Wow! Lovely job 🙂

    • Katie
      April 13, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  2. LeahK
    April 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    I’ve been drooling over this flannel board since you posted it. I’m thinking you should open up an etsy store to sell your amazing flannels! I would buy them! 🙂

  3. gabrielakopinits
    July 7, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Lovely job, Katie! I’m a Brazilian storyteller and I loved your work with this story 🙂

    • Katie
      August 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

      Thank you so much!

  4. nafisa
    March 1, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    thanks for your nice ideas

    • Katie
      March 4, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

      Thank you for reading!

  5. Jaime
    January 6, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    I have major flannelboard envy right now! We are doing a Hunger Awareness story time around this story. Are there any other books that you would recommend to go along with this one?

    • Katie
      June 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

      LUNCH by Denise Fleming would pair nicely!


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