The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Author: Eric Carle

This beloved classic has been treasured by families for many years. As your child turns the pages they will learn all about the very hungry caterpillar, from egg to strawberry, lollipop, and–finally–beautiful butterfly!

Here are my top The Very Hungry Caterpillar activities you can do with your child to help support his/her speech & language development:

1. As this story focuses on the very hungry caterpillar’s many meals, it makes it the perfect book to support your child’s vocabulary development. You can use the FREE sheets attached to practice categorising the food items featured in the story with your child, which will help to support their word knowledge e.g. likes/dislikes, healthy vs unhealthy.

Here is a reminder of what the caterpillar ate each day:

  • Monday: 1 apple
  • Tuesday: 2 pears
  • Wednesday: 3 plums 
  • Thursday: 4 strawberries 
  • Friday: 5 oranges 
  • Saturday: chocolate cake, ice cream cone, pickle, Swiss cheese, salami, lollipop, cherry pie, sausage, cupcake, watermelon 
  • Sunday: 1 green leaf

2. Due to the repetitive nature of the story and the clear sequence of events throughout, it makes it the perfect story to work on your child’s narrative/story telling skills. Use the FREE days of the week chart below alongside the food pictures above to support your child to remember what happened each day. This will also help them to practice sequencing the days of the week.

3. Encourage your child to use descriptive language to tell you more about the caterpillar, butterfly and food e.g. colourful, magnificent, crunchy, sweet, hairy).

4. This story covers the caterpillar’s life cycle. You can use the pictures below to sequence the stages in the correct order. You can both take it in turns to describe what the caterpillar looks like at each stage. This will support both your child’s sequencing skills and their vocabulary.

5. Make a caterpillar posting box for your child (using an old shoe box and the caterpillar image attached) and cut up the food pictures provided above. You can then practice giving your child instructions (e.g. Give the caterpillar the apple and the pear). You can increase the complexity of the instructions if your child is finding this too easy. Practice taking turns with your child so they also get a chance to provide some instructions.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I hope that you and your child enjoy spending time together carrying out these activities. I’d love to know which activity was your favourite?

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