It’s virtual book club time with Toddler Approved and The Educators Spin On It– and we have read this book online as our library couldn’t get us a copy in time. So this months is The Very Quiet Cricket. Now I can tell this is a popular book choice for J as he has been going around reciting the bit about “rubbing his wings together” all week. It’s also requested regularly and it’s so nice to have the story read to us with some great animation as well all in the style of Eric Carle.

The very quiet cricket activityFor a change we decided to take our activity outside (well the weather has been glorious) and we went hunting for some of the creatures that The Very Quiet Cricket met in his first day.

Hunting and examining bugs in the garden
J looking through his bug explorer at the different bugs we found

Equipped with our bug explorer we searched the undergrowth trying to find any of the bugs – I didn’t want to tell J that most of them we wouldn’t be able to find in the UK garden, in fact we didn’t find any of the creatures mentioned in the book. We did however find some really interesting bugs and J got used to handling them, putting them into his bug explorer and then taking them out and returning them to the undergrowth.

Garden Snail
Our first “bug” a snail

We first found some snails which J knew where they were from our Snail Hunt last week. Yes we had looked at them last year but not in our bug explorer – J liked the lines on the shell and the circles that he could see – we were able to talk about the spiral instead of circles and I have been asked to draw spirals over and over again for him to make some snails.

Red and black beetle
Next find was a red and black beetle

We have lots of little beetles in our garden at the moment – this red and black beetle was on our nettles which J has realised aren’t a good thing to touch so I had to put it into our bug explorer to have a look at – he thought at first it was a lady bird – we have had a few black with red spot lady birds in the garden but then realised it wasn’t as curved as they were. We also have some of my nemesis the red Lilly Beetles which J is in charge of finding amongst my Lilies and removing from them.

Garden spider
Our last find was a spider

As the theme for The Very Quiet caterpillar is the noise that the bugs make we listened out for any bug noises (quite difficult over the noise coming from the black bird nest at the rear of the garden) but we were able to hear the buzzing of a bee amongst the honey suckle. I am looking forward to taking J and T abroad where they will be able to find noisier insects as we are very limited in the UK.

Inspired by this Eric Carle book based activity then check out more Eric Carle books that we recommend for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.


  1. thats so funny, we did exactly te same activity – i recon its the hot weather that just means everything has to be outside. You go much more interesting bugs than us though

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