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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story Time

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story Time

What you need:

Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (*Amazon Affiliate Link)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar story printables
Magnet strips




Learning Goals and Standards:

Vocabulary: Make sure you talk about the new words the children may learn: caterpillar, plums, stomach ache, cocoon (chrysalis).
Days of the Week
Nutrition: Talk about what caterpillars like to eat. Talk about favorite foods and what children need to grow up strong and healthy.
Science: Discuss the life cycle of a butterfly.


Print and cut out story pictures add a magnet strip to the back of each picture to use on your magnet board.

About the Book:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar book teaches the days of the week and the life cycle of a butterfly. In this fun book, a little caterpillar eats and eats and changes into a beautiful butterfly. Children will learn about counting, the days of the week, and good nutrition. We have gathered some ideas that you can do before, during, or after reading the book. Don't try to do all the activities the first time you read the book. Children love to hear the same story over and over again which gives you plenty of opportunities to add some other activities.

What you do:

Before you read the book show children the cover and read the title of the book. Ask children to make some prediction what the story will be all about. Talk about caterpillars and which kind of foods caterpillar might eat.

Read the story

Start reading the book but stop after the oranges.

Ask, who remembers how many apples the caterpillar ate? How many pears? How many plums? etc. Have children guess what the caterpillar will eat next. Continue reading the book and talk about healthy food choices. Read the book until the caterpillar eats the leaf. Ask, how do you think the caterpillar feels? How do you think he will look like after eating all the food? Continue and stop again after the caterpillar made a cocoon. Ask children what they think is happening inside the cocoon. Finish reading the story.

After Reading

Discuss children's favorite food and favorite day of the week.

After you have read the story, discuss with your children if they remember what happened at the beginning of the story. (ie. There is an egg on a leaf.) Discuss what happened in the middle of the story. (ie. The caterpillar is hungry and eats a lot.)

Place the food items on your magnet board and say the following rhyme together:

Crunch, chrunch, munch, munch
Mmm, I like ... for lunch.

Discuss what happens at the end of the story. (ie. The caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly.)



After the second reading

Story Retelling

Show the children the story pictures. Have them help you put the pictures in the order that they happened in the story. 

Have children take turns retelling the story of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

Food Tasting

Prepare food items from the story for each child to try. Place them inside a paper plate. As you re-read the story let children taste each food and talk about if they "love it", "like it" or  if it's "not my favorite" food. Record children's favorite food from the story. The children enjoyed tasting the different items along with the caterpillar, involve children in a conversation about the importance of healthy eating.

Caterpillar Craft

Let children create their own caterpillar.

I'm a Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft


* This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.