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Read and explore The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The very hungry caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar tells the story of a tiny caterpillar who is very hungry! Read or watch the story with your child and try these activities. They will give you the chance to talk to your child about food and nature.

Watch the story

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As you watch the story, you can explore it with your child in these ways:

  • Encourage your child to join in with repeated parts of the story e.g. “…but he was still hungry.”
  • As the caterpillar eats a new food, try and get your child to count along with you, “one, two, three plums...”
  • Ask your child to guess what food the caterpillar might eat next. Talk about your favourite foods together.
  • At the end of the story, recap the different foods that the caterpillar ate.

Caterpillar play!

After you have finished the story, try these caterpillar-themed activities together:

  • Pretend to be a caterpillar: Shuffle and wriggle along the floor with your hands by your sides. Then, stand up and turn into a beautiful butterfly and flap your wings to fly around.
  • Insect hunt: Go to a nearby outside space. Go on an insect hunt and see what creepy crawlies you can find. It is a good idea to look by trees or underneath rocks. You might see ladybirds, spiders, worms, ants, butterflies, snails or even caterpillars!
  • Painting: Draw a simple outline of a butterfly. Fold the drawing in half down the middle. Ask your child to paint a design on one side of the butterfly and then fold the paper in on itself so it smudges the other half of the butterfly. Open the paper up to reveal a beautiful symmetrical butterfly. Or maybe you could collage a caterpillar!
  • Food caterpillar: Make your own caterpillars out of food to have as a snack. You could use round biscuits and green icing to make a biscuit caterpillar, or try half an apple for the caterpillar’s head and halved grapes for his body.
  • Songs and rhymes: Talk to your child about insects that you know and sing rhymes like Incy Wincy Spider, Ladybird, and Wiggly Woo.

For older children

Ask your child to make up their own version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar all about themselves and their favourite foods. For example, “On Monday, she ate through one bowl of cereal. But she was still hungry.” Encourage them to think about what will happen after they have eaten all that food.