The Very Hungry Caterpillar Workshop

Per leggere questo post in italiano, cliccate qui.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of our favorite stories – (you can see by how many times we’ve posted about it under categories to your right).  It has the some of the very important features to look for when reading to ESL or EFL kids – the story uses a fairly simple and basic language, the story is interesting and the pictures explain the what is happening even if the kids don’t understand many of the words.  This story is also adaptable to teach different topics- the life cycle of a butterfly (also order- first, second, next etc), days of the week, counting and food.  We focused on the life cycle of a butterfly for our project. We made mobiles and this is how we did it:Supplies:

  • paper plate (or construction paper and something to trace a circle)
  • black construction paper
  • a white or light colored pencil
  • crayons or oil pastels
  • scissors
  • large embroidery needle and thread

First take the paper plate and draw a large spiral shape and cut it out.

Use the white pencil to draw an egg on a leaf, a caterpillar, a cocoon and a butterfly (we folded the paper in half and drew on the fold).  (The kids were given 12 x 12 cm squares and asked the kids to draw as big as they could – otherwise they tended to draw something small in the center of the paper – making it hard to color, cut out and see). The drawing above is not to scale, but just to give you an idea of what the pieces you should have.

Cut out the pieces and color them in.

This part may require adult supervision – cut out 4 pieces of thread about the same length (about 25 cm) and 1 longer thread (about 40 cm).  Thread the needle with the large piece of thread, poke the needle through center of the spiral (going from top to bottom) and then poke it back through again (going from bottom to top).  Tie a knot at the end.  This will be used to hang the mobile.

Now attach the other pieces.  Using the shorter pieces of thread  poke the needle through the top of the spiral, poke it though one of your pieces (leaf, caterpillar, cocoon or butterfly), poke it back up through the spiral and tie a knot.  Repeat, making sure you evenly space each piece.  The order doesn’t really matter because it changes as the mobile spins.

Here is a cute little song to sing (to the tune of Up On The Rooftop) while you are working:

  • First comes a butterfly and lays an egg.
    Out comes a caterpillar with many legs.
    Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,
    A little chrysalis to sleep in.
  • Oh, oh ,oh wait and see!
    Oh, oh, oh wait and see!
    Out of the chrysalis, my oh my,
    Out comes a beautiful butterfly!

(We didn’t make it up, but since we’ve seen it on many other sites, we can’t cite it since we don’t know who to give the credit to – but nice job whoever it was!)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Game

To read this in Italian, click here.

This is a card game inspired by The Very Hungry Caterpillar, to help kids count and learn fruits.  To play, print out one copy each of all the cards and cut them out.

The object of the game is to have the most fruits and leaves before the puzzle is completed.

1.  Shuffle the cards and put them into the center of the table

2.  On his or her turn, each player draws a card.  If the card has fruit or leaves, he places it face up on the table (so the other players can see and learn) and says how many fruits (or leaves) there are. The turn passes to the next person.  If the card has a piece of the puzzle on it, that card is placed in the center of table to begin (or continue) constructing the puzzle.

3.  Play continues until the puzzle is completed.  When the last piece of the puzzle is in place, the game ends.  Players count how many fruits and leaves they have.  The player with the most fruits and leaves wins.  (Count the actual number of objects, not the number of cards).  Have fun!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Crossword

To read this in Italian, click here.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great first language book, even for older kids who are ESL. We’ve created something a puzzle them in mind:

*There was a mistake in the word bank, but it has now been fixed. Sorry about that!

Want to create a crossword puzzle of your own? There are many sites to create games and other activities all you have to do is search the web. is a great site that lets you create your own crossword puzzles. All you have to do is enter the words and the hints and it puts the puzzle together for you.

Make sure you check out our other activities for The Very Hungry Caterpillar!



The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sculptionary

Memory game isn’t the only thing you can do with those The Very Hungry Caterpillar cards, how about a game of Sculptionary? It’s like Pictionary, but three dimensional.

For 2 or more players.


  • play dough (homemade* or bought)
  • Egg timer (optional)

Place cards and dough in the middle of the table. Decide who goes first, we usually use the Eeny Meenie Miney Moe method. The first player draws a card (and turns over the egg timer) and makes a sculpture of what’s on the card. Everybody else can guess what it is. Once the sculpture is guessed, the turn goes to the next player on the left.  We don’t usually keep score so feelings don’t get hurt – it’s just fun getting to play with the dough and guess what the other person is doing. But, for bigger kids you can keep score or play a version where whoever guesses gets to sculpt next. If you are playing with a timer, when the timer runs out and the card isn’t guessed, the ‘sculptor’ turns over his/her card and reveals the answer and the player on his/her left goes next.

* You don’t have any play dough around? Well we’ve got a recipe for you:

1 cup of salt
1 cup of water
2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of cooking oil

Mix the salt, flour, oil, & water together.

Per la versione italiana, clicchare qui.

How to Make a Paper Butterfly

Now that you have all those tie dyed pieces of paper, what can you do with them?


  • A pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tie dyed paper (or scraps of wrapping paper, newspaper, magazines)
  • String (we used the type for cooking).
  • Something square and something round to trace (to make a square and circle shape). We used a book and a lid to a container.

    Step 1: Trace a square and a circle onto the paper, then cut it out.

Step 2: Fold both the square and circle in a fan fold (back and forth).

Step 3: Put a line of glue along the first fold of the circle and stack the square on top.

Step 4: Tie a piece of string in the middle of glued together pieces (the knot should be made at the top of the stack).

Step 5: Spread the wings of your butterfly out and you're done!

We tied ours to a popsicle stick to make a butterfly mobile

Per la versione italiana, clicca qui.

Tie Dyed Paper


  • Pens
  • Coffee filters (or cheap stiff paper towels might do the trick too)
  • Spray Bottle

Step 1: Scribble to your heart's content

Step 2: Spray with water.

Step 3: This is the fun part, watch the water spread the ink.

You can experiment and see what happens when you add more color or less color. What happens when you spray more water or less water? Or this could be turned into an experiment mixing colors – what happens with you put blue and red next to each other and you spray it with water?

Per la versione italiana cliccare qui.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Let’s start off with The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  It’s  a great ESL, EFL book because it  introduces various things from the life cycle from caterpillar to butterfly, lots of fun foods and the days of the week.

Great! Now you’ve read the book or seen the video now what????

Now you can print these out 2 times and make a memory game. We actually printed them out onto regular printer paper and then glued them onto colored construction paper b/c we have smarty pants kids that try to peek through the paper and see what’s underneath.

Regular old memory too boring for your kids? How about hooking on some paperclips and using some ‘fishing poles’ (either ones robbed from bought game or make them yourself-attach a short piece of string to a stick, chopstick, unsharpened pencil, popsicle stick and glue a magnet to the end).

Don’t like how we colored them?  We invite you to do a better job:

That’s all we have time for for our first entry.  You know Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Per la versione italiana cliccare qui.