Jul 24, 2022
What toddler or preschooler doesn’t love the book The Hungry Caterpillar? A great nature arts and craft you can do with your child after reading the book is to make your own caterpillar.
Most of my nature crafts start with a hike or exploring outside to first gather the necessary material and this one is no different! What you need can be found in your backyard, but if you would rather go on a longer hike to find it I encourage that!
**Hiking with a toddler/**preschooler is a great way to get outside and get some fresh air. Your child isn’t the only one who will benefit from vitamin D.
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The items for this nature craft are easy to find. You can explore your backyard and find different size leaves from your trees. This is a great learning experience to teach your child how each tree produces different size leaves and that each leaf is unique.
If you don’t have trees in your yard you can head to a park or out on a trail through the woods. The leaves will be glued onto a paper, so ensure you pick enough small leaves to fit on the paper.
Select a piece of construction paper for your caterpillar to be created on. My son picked yellow.
Start by placing glue where the face of the caterpillar will be, mine is on the lower right hand side of the paper. Have your toddler/preschooler put the red fuzzy ball on the paper.
If you don’t have a fuzzy ball, no worries. You can draw on the face or even cut up a red leaf, if you can find one!
Use a glue stick and draw the shape of your caterpillar. You can perform this task for your child, or let them do it. My almost 4 year old was great at doing this himself!
Place the leaves you have collected on the glue line just drawn. A toddler or preschooler won’t be very neat about this, but let them take some creative liberties.
Tear or cut small circles from the leaves to make eyes. Glue them on your fuzzy ball/red leaf/circle.
Use a different leaf, perhaps one with color or different texture and cut for a mouth. Glue below the eyes on the face of the caterpillar.
Tip: I used a purple stalk from an indoor plant for my caterpillar’s mouth. Look around at your house plants and see what you can find. If you can’t find something, markers do the trick as well!
The last step is to make feet. Break the sticks you found outside to be the right size for caterpillar feet. Then glue the feet on. Let your child pick how many feet he/she thinks should go on their caterpillar.
My almost 4 year old wanted to use the purple stalk for feet instead of sticks. Again no harm in letting them deviate from the plan. Their caterpillar might not be perfect, but he/she will be super proud of their masterpiece.
Presto you now have your very own hungry caterpillar! Don’t be surprised if your child now wants to go outside and collect leaves for other arts and crafts projects! Mine sure do.
Christmas Tree Ornament from Sticks: A fun one around the holiday time, either for yourself or to wrap and give!
Butterly from Confetti Flower Pieces: This is a great nature craft to do following your caterpillar. One day you have a caterpillar and the next a butterfly!
Suncather: Make a unique suncatcher each time. Gather pieces of nature from a hike and create a memento to remember it by.
Sundial: This fun craft helps reinforce numbers and starts your little one learn how to tell time. Create a sundial with rocks or even leaves!