So it is January and we just finished the holidays so we can’t read books about Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa etc. No more books about cookies and cocoa. We don’t get snow or extreme cold here in the south so now snowy stories by the fireplace. But yet it is too early for stories about Valentine’s Day or Spring. SO … enter the caterpillar.
If you have kids, chances are, you have seen, heard, or read 1,000 times the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. It is a classic.
The book is so simple yet teaches so many great concepts.
- caterpillar life cycle
- days of the week
The book can be found on Amazon: CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO THE BOOK ON AMAZON
The book can easily be found at your local library. It is a children’s library classic.
Read the book with your kid.
You can ask questions like:
- What sound does a caterpillar make? Do they make a sound?
- What song does your tummy make when it is hungry?
- How do caterpillars move? Do they walk? Do they swim? Do they fly? Do they crawl?
- How many XXXX did he eat on Monday?
- What day comes after Friday?
- What color is the XXXX food?
- Have your child make a “munch munch” or “crunch crunch” sound when the caterpillar eats. You can do hand movements too.
- Which foods make a crunch sound and which foods make a munch sound when eaten?
- Do you like to eat XXXX? What is your favorite food on this page?
- Can you wrap your arms around yourself like a cocoon?
- Can you break out of the cocoon?
- Can you flap your wings like a butterfly?
- Can you make a shadow butterfly with your hands?
When I read to my daughters Preschool class, I had a felt story board and puppet that I checked out of our library. The kids could pick the correct food off of the felt board and “feed it” to the caterpillar (put it in the tummy pocket). After the caterpillar eats everything, spins a cocoon, and sleeps for 2 weeks – the puppet opened up into a butterfly. It was pretty neat to see their eyes light up. You can get this puppet on Amazon. Pinterest also has lots of DIY easy ideas and free printables.
Then we sang a song from YouTube about a hungry caterpillar by PinkFong … you know the people who brought us Baby Shark.
When we were all done, I gave each child a caterpillar treat (gummy worm) for being good listeners.
Then I put a caterpillar craft in each kids backpack that they could do with mom and dad at home. Super simple. It is just a pipe cleaner with some beads that you make into a caterpillar and a paper cut out of a leaf.
Great way to continue the conversation at home about the book and work on their motor skills. Kids can pretend play with the caterpillar and take him to the fridge to find foods from the book to munch/crunch. You can also have kids use a hole punch on the paper leaf to show how the caterpillar munched on it. Run around outside and have the caterpillar crawl in the grass or climb a tree.
So that is it – January story hour done. Easy, fast, cheap, fun! Have ideas to make it even better? Put them in the comments – I would love to see the great stuff you come up with!