Caterpillar Story Props and Activity

caterpillar story props

The children have been learning about caterpillars and butterflies this spring. I bought two live caterpillar kits from a friend so the children could watch the process of metamorphosis.  Every day we observe the changes and they are expected to emerge from their chrysalis’ any day now.  A homeschool mother at our co-op did a lovely caterpillar lesson last week that I wanted to share with you today.

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She used the well known book by Eric Carle “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” As she read the book, a child was picked to move the story props to act out each page of the book. If you are new to felting these story props are a good beginner project.

You could also use construction paper to make the story props or a combination of materials that you have around your house. The ‘eggs’ on the leaf are tiny pebbles.  You could use real leaves and make a caterpillar from pom poms strung together if you don’t felt. The leaves are a dark green wool loosely felted together into a leaf shape. Use some embroidery thread to make the lines on the leaf.

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The felt balls for the caterpillar are simple to make.  Here is a tutorial.  Sew them together and add some eyes to transform your felt balls into a caterpillar. You could felt some pieces of food or use pretend food from your play kitchen toys.

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My friend used a corduroy basket (that the pretend food came in) as the chrysalis in the story.  Wrapping your caterpillar in brown tissue paper or a dark towel would work well as you tell the story.

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The butterfly used in the photo was a hand puppet but here is an easy craft on how to make your own tissue paper butterfly.

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Once the story was done the children were ready for a movement activity. This game is a good example of how to accommodate a variety of ages for a group learning experience. Write six vocabulary words from the story on pieces of paper.  Use a different colour for each word and number them.

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Write out a second and third copy of each word.  The first copy you will tape to an easel or on the floor so everyone can see each word.

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Walk around your house and tape the second copy of each word on walls or doors.

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Each child gets a turn to roll the dice and they get to find the word that matches the number they rolled. Depending on their age, you can help them read the word so they know what word they are looking for around the house. Draw their attention to matching up the number and matching the colour if they are too young to read.

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The child gets the third copy of the word that you wrote to take with them around the house so they can compare numbers, colours and letters to make sure they have a match.

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Once they find their match, they bring it back to the easel and stick it beside the original word.

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The game finishes when all the words have been found. The children enjoyed this game. They all asked to play it a few more times.

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Each child made a butterfly life cycle craft to take home with them.  It could be a glue and paste or a write and draw depending on the ages in your group. A cloths pin with pom poms glued on it made a cute butterfly body.  Here is the link for the free printable butterfly page.

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I hope you have a beautiful butterfly lesson with your home daycare group.

Comments

  1. Great ideas on really engaging kids in a story! I’m so glad to see that kids are still enjoying this book years later. It’s a lovely story and a great way to teach!

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