One of our favourite books to read with toddlers and preschoolers is The Very Hungry Caterpillar and we just love creating activities around that book. Today we’re sharing with you an easy to set up activity with play dough based on the story. So dig out your play dough or make your own – we have included links to 2 easy play doughs to make with your toddlers and preschoolers and set up this simple activity for some The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play Dough.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
We have included links to the book as well as products we used in this activity. If you purchase via these links we may earn a small commission.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, is a classic story and one that I remember with fond memories from when I was a child. I have been reading the book to my eldest since he was a baby and now both he and his young brother love the story and it is one which we read at bedtime often. In fact, it pleases me now that he can read the book himself, and he will take a turn to read it before bedtime.
Knowing how much my boys love the story and how much they love using play dough, I decided to mix the two together and bring the book to life with some play dough interaction. I asked them to make a hungry caterpillar each and then make a butterfly each, assisting with their imaginative play and fine motor skills. I found lots of toy food items from their playroom to recreate all that the caterpillar ate on his journey to becoming a beautiful butterfly, and also used a leaf from the garden, a paper plate for the sun and the moon, a small basket for the cocoon and printed out the days of the week from the Learn the Day of Week with The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity, which is helping to develop his writing and spelling skills.
Materials Needed for The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play Dough Play
For the very hungry caterpillar playdough Invitation to Create
red and green playdoh – you could try our edible play dough recipe or our simple 2-ingredient play dough recipe if you want to make your own
4 googly eyes
8 small brown pom poms
1 purple pipe cleaner, cut into 4 equal pieces
2 small black pom poms
For the beautiful butterfly Invitation to Create
as many different coloured playdoh as you can get (I did not make these as I had a collection in the cupboard stored up from past birthdays and Christmas!)
green ribbon, cut into 4 pieces
4 tiny googly eyes
buttons and pompoms
7 strips of paper and a pen/pencil
toy play food
a brown basket
Looking for Butterfly Printable Activities, then check out our Butterfly Activity Project Pack. With ideas for preschool to learn maths, writing and all about the life cycle.
Invitation to Play with The Very Hungry Caterpillar Inspired Play Dough
Pass 2 pieces of greaseproof paper to your participants, along with equal amounts of the red and green play dough, and the eyes, nose, legs and antennae (google eyes, pipe cleaner and pom poms) so they can create their very own caterpillars.
The top caterpillar was made by an almost 5-year-old and a 3-year-old made the bottom one.
Then using the props and the days of the week slips of paper, you can tell the story in your own time and with as much or as little interaction as you like.
Once the very hungry caterpillar has woken up from his sleep inside the cocoon, you can pass the assorted coloured play doughs, pom poms, ribbon and buttons to your children and ask them to make their very own beautiful butterflies.
Making the butterflies took ages and was fascinating to watch how Burton and Jenson approached making them so differently. Sometimes they borrowed an idea they saw the other one using, but they were absorbed in their own designs mostly.
This craft idea was so much fun and something which they have asked to do again very soon.
Here are some other activities you may like to see that we have taken part in over at Mummy Mishaps
Gruffalo Hunt, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, A Room On The Broom Birthday Party & Cake, We’re Going On A Bluebell Hunt, and Frozen Inspired Sandwiches
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Even more The Very Hungry Caterpillar Inspired Crafts and Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.