The Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft with FREE printable leaves

Make your own bead caterpillar to munch through some leaves! Inspired by the book 'The Very  Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle we made a bead caterpillar and used a hole punch to help the caterpillar munch through a nice green leaf. This easy 'The very Hungry Caterpillar' craft is great for toddlers and preschoolers working on fine motor skills.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


See lots more bug themed crafts and activities on our bug and butterfly themed activity calendar

As we head into Spring it's time to start thinking about the outdoors. We have a whole collection of outdoor art ideas that you must take a look at, but today we are sharing a craft based on something that we will be seeing a lot of as the weather gets warmer, caterpillars! Toddlers and preschoolers seem to be fascinated with bugs and love learning about how caterpillars turn into butterflies. 

Why not go on a bug hunt using our bug scavenger hunt printable to find some real caterpillars or move like a bug with our bug action cards!

The book 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle is a much loved book by many young children and perfect for introducing a bug theme. After reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' we were inspired to make these bead caterpillars and leaves. We loved talking about all the different foods the caterpillar ate before making the final green leaf for him to munch on. We have a book list full of other bug and butterfly books that would also go well with this craft.

Threading beads to make the caterpillars and using a hole punch to make holes in the leaves are both great activities for working on fine motor control and hand eye co-ordination. Young children will also love using their imagination to play with their caterpillars and leaves after they have made them.

If you are teaching your child about the butterfly life cycle reading this book and then doing a caterpillar craft is a perfect place to start. You could then do a fun butterfly activity and talk about the changes that take place. We have a beautiful Eric Carle inspired butterfly craft that would would be perfect to make after doing this caterpillar activity. We also have some butterfly colouring pages for you to download.

Buying a butterfly growing kit is a great way of showing children first hand the changes that take place as a caterpillar changes and turns into a butterfly.



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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft



You will need:




Bead Caterpillars


To make the bead caterpillars begin by choosing a pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner to create a v shape at one end.  This will stop the beads from falling off as you start threading and creates the caterpillars head.


Thread beads all the way along the pipe cleaner, leaving a small gap at the end so that the beads can be secured.  Be creative with your choice of colours.  You could use the orignial colours of the hungry caterpillar, make a repeating pattern or just have fun choosing the colours that you like. 

An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.

Once you have threaded all the beads secure them by bending the end of the pipe cleaner around the last bead.

An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


Munched Leaves


Print the leaf template onto green card and cut the leaves out. Then comes the fun part, use a hole punch to make holes all over the leaves.  This will make the leaves look like they have been eaten by the caterpillars. Young children will love the novelty of being given a hole punch to use.



An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


Imaginative Caterpillar Play


Once you have made the bead caterpillars and leaves take them outside to play with. See if you can retell the story by making the caterpillars pretend to eat different foods like he does in 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' story, pretend that he is muching the paper leaves and let him crawl through the grass.  You will be amazed at how imaginative children can be given just a couple of story props. Daisy (aged 2) used some of the spare beads as food for her caterpillars.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.


After reading 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' story and making this craft to play with why not have a hunt around the garden and see if you can find any real caterpillars!

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An easy 'The Very hungry Caterpillar' craft for toddlers and preschoolers. Free printable leaves template included. A good kids activity for a Spring, bug or growing themed project.

This craft is just one of many Spring themed activities that we have. Take a look at our Spring Activity Calendar for a little more inspiration. 


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