5-6 yrs (kindergarten) 6-8 yrs (primary) Activities PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)

Eric Carle & The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle, the famous author and illustrator of children’s books, passed away May 23rd, 2021, at the age of 91 thus we wanted to honor his contributions by providing a little history about Mr. Carle and some activities related to his most popular book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.   

Eric Carle was known for his simple yet engaging writing style and his colorful illustrations. His unique collage-style artwork was strongly influenced by modern and abstract artists he was introduced to while in school at a time when such artwork was forbidden (he was living in Germany during World War II). To see an example of this style and how Mr. Carle produces his illustrations, watch this video clip of Mr. Rogers visiting Eric Carle’s art studio. Older children may also enjoy this brief history of his life in the United States and Germany and how his love of art developed.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

Eric Carle’s most famous book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar; click here to watch an animated version of the book or listen to Eric Carle read the book here.


After reading the book, have your child engage in a Very Hungry Caterpillar inspired craft. 

Caterpillar Craft: You can have your child make a caterpillar out of an egg carton (supplies needed:  egg carton, scissors, pipe cleaners, and markers or paints) or clothespin (supplies needed:  clothespin, green paint or marker, one red pompom, and a few green pompoms, glue, and a magnetic strip if you want to make it into a magnet).

Butterfly Craft: You can also have your child make a butterfly. Eric Carle often used tissue paper when making his illustrations so a great project would be to make Tissue Paper Butterflies using a clothespin (supplies needed:  tissue paper, clothespin, pipe cleaner, googly eyes, and paint if desired) or pipe cleaners (supplies needed:  tissue paper, pipe cleaner, scissors, pencil and possibly a ruler). 

Physical Activity:

Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure developed a fun yoga class for kids relating to the Very Hungry Caterpillar book. The 20-minute class walks kids through easy and engaging yoga poses that act out each step of the caterpillar’s journey.

More Eric Carle Books:

Below are additional links to some of Eric Carle’s other famous books.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? (By Bill Martin Jr.; Illustrations by Eric Carle)

The Very Busy Spider

Do You Want to Be My Friend?

The Grouchy Ladybug

The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Quiet Cricket

Description: Eric Carle Books and activities 

Age Levels: 

  • PreK 3-5 yrs (preschool)
  • 5-6 yrs (kindergarten)
  • 6-8 yrs (primary)



Arts & Crafts


Karena Rush


Creative Commons License

Credit: on 6/9/2021

By Karena Rush

Hi Everyone! Welcome to our site! My name is Karena and I am a child clinical psychologist with a background in school psychology, education, and early childhood risk and prevention. I have worked in schools, hospitals, and community outreach settings with kids with all levels of abilities devoting most of my time to children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. One of my passions is helping parents and teachers identify fun activities that can help build developmental and academic skills (aka- learning while playing!!). In fact, I have had the opportunity to work with toy developers and companies from around the world in developing and identifying toys that enhance learning. Outside of work, I love to travel and spend time outdoors with my two daughters and husband. I am so excited that you are visiting our site and hope you find our activities as fun as we do!

- A.B. Psychology, Bryn Mawr College
- M.Ed. Early Childhood Risk and Prevention, Harvard University
- M.S. Psychology, Louisiana State University
- Ph.D. Psychology: Child Clinical, Louisiana State University
- Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Kennedy Krieger Institute

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