Last week was a busy week for our Tot School. With the warm weather we started noticing caterpillars outside. Sicily and the other little boy I watch became very fascinated by them. The little boy seems to pick them out a mile away! With this new interest, I decided to plan a Very Hungry Caterpillar toddler theme.
We started our Very Hungry Caterpillar toddler theme by reading The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I was surprised that they sat through this whole story. It’s a bit long for toddlers. Sicily kept pointing to the caterpillar and saying “ousss” which is how she says outside.
On Tuesday, we fed the caterpillar. Both kids are under 1, so there really wasn’t much structure to this activity. But they LOVED feeding the caterpillar his fruit, so he can grow big and strong. I made the caterpillar by cutting out a face with construction paper and taping it on a wide open container.
Related: How to Plan for a Child-Led Tot SchoolIn our sensory bin we put black beans, or you could use coffee beans to make it smell nice. We added fruit and some caterpillars too. They kept trying to pick up the beans with the fruit. They kept burying the caterpillars telling them to take a nap.
My favorite part of the whole week was our live caterpillars. We ordered caterpillars from Insect Lore. They send you baby caterpillars with enough food for them to eat while they grow. It takes about a week to grow and form a chrysalis. Then in about another week, the butterflies emerge. We just let them loose yesterday! I was so excited to let the butterflies loose that I forgot my camera, so I don’t have any pictures. They were being stubborn at first, but eventually they all flew away.
Related: The Toddler Experience: A Hands-On Toddler Curriculum
The last thing we did was make caterpillars without connecting blocks. We practiced snapping and unsnapping the blocks. Then we would count how many segments our caterpillars had. The toddlers loved learning about caterpillars. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of my favorite books. It’s why I chose it for my first Literacy Pack, which is an all inclusive learning theme developed around a book. It’s specifically designed for Toddlers and Preschoolers. Check out what Kayla said about the pack:
“I struggle with planning ideas around themes. This literacy pack gives you so much to fill your day. It’s all inclusive. You can do as little or as much as you’d like. My daughter loves “The Hungry Caterpillar” and now she has a better understanding of caterpillars and their life cycle”
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