Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Activity For Toddlers and Preschoolers

Ever since our caterpillars arrived, the kiddos around here have been mildly obsessed with caterpillars and butterflies. We've gone "butterfly hunting" in the yard a few times, watched our caterpillars ever so closely (they've eaten numerous snacks with us), and read any book that even mentions the words 'caterpillar' or 'butterfly.' One of their favorites is Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

While lesson planning for the week, I knew I wanted to incorporate The Very Hungry Caterpillar book into an activity, but couldn't figure out how. That's when the idea struck me that of all of the activities I've done with butterfly life cycles, I've never done the food aspect of the book. So, all of Wednesday (minus breakfast), the kids ate what the caterpillar ate throughout the book.

Morning snack was apple slices, pear halves, plum, mandarin oranges, and strawberries. We even read the book while we ate.

Lunch was chocolate cake (bonus that it was also a daycare child's birthday celebration), banana ice cream (instead of an ice cream cone), a pickle, string cheese (instead of swiss cheese), a slice of salami, Dum Dums (that the kids got to take home with them to eat), cherry pie filling (I decided against cherry pie because they were already eating a lot of sugar with lunch), 1 sausage, mini muffins (instead of cupcakes), and watermelon. I'm happy to report that no one had a stomachache!

Afternoon snack was salad with a side of crackers. The kids were mind blown when I explained that lettuce and spinach is a type of leaf, which led to the discussion on what types of leaves were okay to eat and which ones weren't.

Of course we couldn't let the day pass without making our own caterpillars. I kept it simple and let them color empty toilet paper rolls. Good thing because they asked to play with their tp rolls...ummm, I mean caterpillars, and had them "crawl" on the floor. We'll round out our butterfly theme with toilet paper roll butterflies.

On top of it all, our Hungry Caterpillar Day perfectly coincided with our caterpillars changing into the chrysalis stage. These caterpillars have been the center of attention the last couple of weeks! Insect Lore butterfly kit is a MUST for us every spring because it captures the kid's curiosity and perfectly teaches them about butterflies.

And, of course, the highlight of the day was using the breakable plates for lunch. Oh the simplicity of children.

A few of our go-to (and favorite) books about butterflies: