This Very Hungry Caterpillar activity set was conjured up by Cam (age 4) while we were reading the story to Baby Ike one afternoon. Actually, she really just wanted to make a Very Hungry Caterpillar necklace, but it turned into an activity set that is so versatile it can be used by children in 6 ways.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW TO MAKE THIS ACTIVITY SET
Cammy and I had experimented with Fimo (polymer clay) earlier this year when we made beaded necklaces as Mothers’ Day gifts for her grandmothers. While showing Baby Ike how to poke his fingers through the holes in the fruit, she commented that we could make fruit shaped beads from the polymer clay. I can’t begin to tell you how delighted I was to listen to Cam explain her idea.
When the beads were finished, instead of simply creating the necklace without much thought or discussion, I chose to set the beads up as an invitation to play; the learning that I witnessed while Cam was creating and playing with these beads simply blew me away:
- Problem solving while trying to work out how to re-create each piece of fruit
- Exercising fine motor skills in creating and threading the beads
- Working as a team, and asking for help when a task felt too difficult
- Practising patience and perseverance
- Comprehending and recounting the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- One to one correspondence/ Counting
- Creating patterns
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar: An Invitation to Play
Present the beads to your child along with a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, some ribbon and a child-friendly needle. Give your child time to explore the beads and play with them in their own way.
2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Tool
Present the beads to your child along with a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ask your child to count each type of fruit and match them up to the images in the book.
You could extend this activity by removing some of the pieces from the set and asking your child how many pieces are missing.
3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Threading and Recount Tool
Present the beads to your child along with a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, some ribbon and a child-friendly needle. Invite your child to thread the beads onto the ribbon as they recount the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Necklace
Once your child has finished threading the beads and recounting the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, they will be surprised to find that they have created a necklace to wear.
If small children find the necklace too heavy they could customise their own jewellery and choose just a few beads to thread.
5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pattern Creator:
When customising their own jewellery, children could experiment with different patterns and try different bead combinations each day of the week.
If you’re anything like me, you might want to borrow the necklace for yourself every now and then.
6. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Busy Bag.
Place all of the pieces into a small bag, along with a piece of ribbon and a child-friendly needle and you have a busy bag you can take with you to cafés, medical appointments or other places where children are expected to sit and wait for long periods of time.