Preschool Playdate: Hungry Caterpillar

Theme: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Play date: February 4, 2016

— Welcome song in Spanish (reinforces names as Sweet Peas sing to their peers)
— Discussion of theme: intro to 5 signs the sweet peas could use during storytime
— Storytime: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
— Unsquiggle activity: butterfly life cycle


One of our students knows ASL and she and her daughter were kind enough to lead story time.  Before we started, they taught the group 5 signs that we used throughout the story.  We’ll check in to see if they remember what they learned when we start this week’s story time.


Our “unsquiggle” activity today had the children act out the life cycle of the butterfly.  I used three different instruments to represent different segments:

  • Knocked on a rhythm stick: caterpillar breaking out of it’s egg
  • Scraped the rhythm stick: caterpillar crawling around looking for food and making it’s pupa
  • Silence: caterpillar undergoing metamorphosis to transform and change shapes.
  • Tambourine: Butterfly breaking out of the pupa and flying out in the garden

To add to the activity, we asked the parents to bring a pillowcase and a scarf.  The Sweet Peas climbed into their pillowcases (scarf tucked in at the bottom) and were very still inside their “pupa”.  As they came out, they used their scarves as their wings, and then fluttered around the room.

This unsquiggle activity was a combination of an activity suggested in The Mailbox
Superbook, and one from THIS blog that offered Hungry Caterpillar lesson ideas.

Sound Box: We used the letter “C” this week.  It’s a tough letter since it doesn’t always have the soft sound.  In the future, we will use the letter “K” next to it reinforce the sound we are looking for.  Most of the things on the tray had the hard “c” sound, the others were placed on there to be the “no” items.

Our “C” items: Can, Card, Cat, Car, Clip,Clothespin, Comb, Cow, Crown



Level 1: Taking inspiration from all the food mentioned in the story, we had the children roll the dice and then “feed” the caterpillar with the number of items that matched the number they rolled.

Level 2: Have the children sort the food into groups. We did fruits, vegetables, breads, desserts, and dairy.



This week we had an activity that provided an opportunity to work on motor skills.
Gross motor skills: hole punching
Fine motor skills: stringing the leaves they punched on a string.

Once the sweet peas were done with their leaves, they could glue them on the “tree’.



ARTS & CRAFTS ~ Make & Take
This was a craft idea I picked up at a story time at the mall.  Other ways to celebrate this story are to make thumbprint caterpillars with red and green ink.  We also printed out an activity sheet from The Mailbox Superbook for the Sweet Peas to add to the story.  The page asks them to draw other food the caterpillar tried to eat into the caterpillar’s tummy.


We finish our Preschool Playdate with a sharing time: each child that wants to share gets to say what (s)he enjoyed the most about the morning.  We close with a good-bye song where children are welcome to give hugs.  It helps to set a formal end to the time together so that parents have a clear reason to insist that it’s time to go if they have somewhere to be afterwards.