I believe most children can identify with the helpless, small, insignificant caterpillar, and they rejoice with it when it turns into a beautiful butterfly. It is an affirmation to all children. It says: I too can grow up. I too can unfold my wings and fly into the world. – Eric Carle
Young children learn and make sense of their world by doing and imagining. Making art lends itself perfectly to that. To playfully learn about caterpillars we drew caterpillars in chalk, re-enacted the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle with a stuffed caterpillar and decided to create our own snuggly, Purple Twig inspired sock caterpillars. We left our caterpillars cocooned under a blanket (some children even snuck in some leaves to feed them) and were excited to see them hanging in the windows the next day, complete with beautiful wings to color as they had turned into butterflies overnight!
Head over to the wonderful Purple Twig to get your materials and instructions (my favorite part is how the hungry caterpillar eats and eats as the children stuff their sock). We found our stuffing cheapest here.
To turn your caterpillars into butterflies (inspired by a hatchartstudio butterfly I’ve seen on their inspiring Instagram), cut wings from cardboard, overlap and hole punch them before attaching your caterpillar on top of the wings with pipe cleaners (bend the pipe cleaner around the caterpillar, thread through the holes and twist in the back). We painted our butterflies with tempera paint and pressed loose parts (e.g. sequins, pompoms, paper scraps etc.) in the wet paint. Sprinkling glitter in the paint would make a nice addition too!