If you can’t yet tell, we really love the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
I know, you’re shocked right?
Not only is it a classic, it is so much fun to read and I have yet to find a preschooler that doesn’t agree 🙂 Nicholas, is no exception.
Since he was so excited to use the book for our new number flashcards, we went ahead and used it again to finish up our numbers theme.
If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know that I’m always looking for ways to incorporate fine motor activities into our day as this is where Nicholas struggles the most.
Well, this particular activity definitely gave those little muscles of his a nice workout and he really seemed to enjoy it. To top it off, we even worked in some early math skills as well 🙂
Did I mention that it is really simple to set up? You’ll need to set aside a little time to cut out the different food shapes, but once you’ve done that, the rest is a breeze.
Just grab the book, your (printable) cut out foods from the story, a hole punch, and a shoe lace!
We tried this a few different ways and finally determined that this activity is best done AS you read through the story. It gives your child a visual to look at as you’re reading and helps them follow along with the sequence of events.
Quick tip: Tie a knot at the end of your shoe lace so that as your child slips the food on, it doesn’t fall right off again and frustrate them.
Give your child the hole punch and as you read through the story, have them find the food cut out that corresponds with the food that the caterpillar is currently eating. Show them how to squeeze the hole punch to put a hole clean through the food cutout.
See? A great workout for those little muscles!
Once the food has a hole, give them the shoe lace and have them thread it through so that the food cut outs go onto the lace in the order that the caterpillar eats them. (And yeah, that photo is super blurry. For some reason, he thought this part was hilarious and couldn’t seem to stop giggling and shaking long enough for me to get a decent picture) 🙂
By the time we got to the end of the book, Nicholas had this down so well and was concentrating so hard that he wouldn’t put the leaf onto the lace until it had 5 holes just like in the story.
This activity is one that we will definitely be trying out on other stories as well. He got so much more involved in the book just because he had this task to keep him focused and he really seemed to love it.
Now, in case you’d like to try it out with your own little ones, I’ve got the fun foods from the story in a printable just for you! Enjoy!