Our community library hosted another great family event this week, this time all the activities were based on Eric Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Last year I shared some of the ways I used this wonderful picture book with my Kindergarten classes, check out the link under the Insects section if you are interested. After this terrific evening I have more great ideas to share. The kids loved getting to meet the giant caterpillar, and they even got a chance to dance with him! And I got a shameless opportunity to share a picture of my youngest granddaughter!
One of the children’s librarians began the evening by retelling the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar using a flannelboard, felt food pieces and a wonderful sock type Caterpillar puppet. The felt pieces all had large slits cut in them so they fit over the sock caterpillar on the librarian’s arm. Very cute!
After that parents and children were free to explore all the projects and activities that had been prepared and set up around the large community room. It was very well organized and clear instructions were posted on each table giving directions for the craft or game. Oh – and one of my favorite ideas – they set out adhesive name tags for the children to wear, and they were all punched with several holes, I heard several parents and children laughing and enjoying how the caterpillar must have nibbled on them!
The first activity my grandchildren decided to do was making Hungry Caterpillar bookmarks. They used red and green Bingo markers to make their caterpillar on a strip of card stock, then they used a hole punch to make nibble holes, and a hole to tie a ribbon at the end. I loved having kids use hole punches in Kindergarten, I think it is a great way to help develop hand strength which is so important for fine motor control. They had a new kind of hole punch for the children to use – they were easy to squeeze and most of the children were able to punch independently. I am sure I need one of these!
Here is 2 year old Lily’s bookmark!
The librarians had made large cardboard cutouts of some of the foods that the caterpillar ate. They were cut out of corrugated cardboard and painted. The parents held them up and the children had so much fun crawling through the holes.
My favorite project of the evening was making butterfly wings! The project had been prepared ahead of time by cutting open brown grocery bags, they were shaped so they were larger at the outsides and a bit narrower in the center.
On the back of the grocery bag, the inside of the wings, they attached 2 handles, one on each end.
The set out glue sticks and small squares of tissue paper, along with crayons to decorate the wings. They decorated the sides of the bag that did not have the handles. Glue sticks are by far the most convenient, but a lot of the tissue paper squares fell off because the children didn’t press them into the glue. I used to use watered down glue and paint brushes, the tissue paper adhered more easily, but sometimes they had to be left to dry awhile and that would not work for the library program.
But the most fun part was using the wings when they were done! The children held onto the handles and the wings went across their back. When they moved their arms the wings flapped in and out! It was so cute!
Another fun idea was making pompom caterpillars, glued onto a spring clip clothespin. The jiggly eyes had already been glued onto the red pompoms.
The children had fun “feeding” the hungry caterpillar a variety of colors and sizes of pompoms. This encouraged even my little ones to recall the food from the story – they called the purple pompoms “plums,” the red ones were “apples,” etc.
The children used dry erase markers for the final activity. I loved the idea of gluing large pompoms on the ends of the markers as erasers.
They provided a laminated paper with the numerals 1 – 5. The children needed to remember the foods at the beginning of the story, and draw them. Then they put on a cute caterpillar glove (another great idea – the caterpillar was made of felt and glued onto the pointer finger of the glove), and pointed to each food as they retold the story. At the bottom of the page there was a butterfly that was covered with dry erase marker and they had to rub off the marker to reveal the butterfly.
So I see the fruit on this paper were not drawn in the right order – of course that wasn’t done by my grandchildren! Mostly because I prompted them! It might have helped to have a copy of the book close by in case children needed to check out which food came next, but it really didn’t matter anyway – the whole idea was to think about the story and to have fun!
It was such a fun time! Thanks and hugs to the Commerce Township Community Library, and all the dedicated, talented librarians who provide wonderful programs like this for our kids!