The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

A Caterpillar, of the ‘very hungry’ variety, has paid us visit this week. I’ve tried to provide a variety of opportunities for the children to explore, which link to the story & cover all the areas of learning. Obviously, much of the learning occurs in their independent play as they investigate the materials, but we also play in the areas with them to steer, direct & develop specific skills & learning.

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Here are some of the things we have experienced…

Caterpillar Maths

Caterpillar Maths - from Rachel (",)

These are the resources I presented…

Maths resources related to The Very Hungry Caterpillar - from Rachel (",)

The ‘eggs’ are just numbered butter beans, I made them the same way as my ‘ghosts‘…

Numbered butter beans - from Rachel (",)

When directed, the children worked on counting skills & number recognition. Without an adult, they made fruit salad!…

Caterpillar Maths - from Rachel (",)

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Caterpillars on the Finger Gym

Fine motor fun with lots of opportunities for threading & counting this week. Number activities were adult-lead, but the children readily chose to thread the pipe-cleaners independently…

Threading caterpillars... from Rachel (",)

 

Threading & counting caterpillars... from Rachel (",)

Threading caterpillars... from Rachel (",).

Real Leaf Threading

Threading real leaves - from Rachel (",)

Newly trimmed hedges mean there are fresh leaves to take advantage of! Normally the children would only use leaves they find on the ground, so it seemed a treat to have such green leaves. I decided to use some of them in a threading ‘activity tray’ & put them with a single hole punch, string & some scissors. The children were encouraged to punch holes & thread as they wished; great for their little muscles…

*Please note. I have been informed that the leaves in this picture may be harmful, so please be careful with your choice of leaf if you are to have a go with this activity. We only actually used the leaves (of this type) that you can see in the tray above; the rest were a different variety. Phew! 😉

Threading real leaves - from Rachel (",)

Threading real leaves - from Rachel (",)

Some found the string cutting really tricky & needed support, but they were very enthusiastic!

.Threading real leaves - from Rachel (",)

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Caterpillar Art…

… with circular loose parts… bottle tops, curtain rings, wooden coasters, buttons, wooden rings, beads & (non-circular) butterflies…

Caterpillar art from Rachel (",)

Caterpillar art from Rachel (",) .

Butterflies on the Discovery Table

As well as simply playing with them, the children were able to use magnifying glasses to look carefully at the butterflies. I also made available, lots of information books about the life cycle of a butterfly…

Butterflies... from Rachel (",)

Caterpillar & Butterfly Dough

I tried to provide resources to give the children the opportunity to create caterpillars or butterflies… coloured play dough, sequins, bottle tops, googly eyes & coloured matchsticks. Of course, they can create whatever the like…

Butterfly & Caterpillar Dough - from Rachel (",)

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Light Box

Green & red nuggets, along with acrylic leaves (beads) on the light box this week. Lots of opportunities for pattern making as well as caterpillar/butterfly making…

Nuggets on the lightbox - from Rachel (",)

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Small World

We have the, always popular, minibeasts crawling around in the small world area. I added ‘bug’ themed books to enhance it.

Minibeasts in the small world... from Rachel (",)

Balloon Printing

We also did some balloon printing outdoors. The idea was to print caterpillars but, of course, they could print whatever they wanted…

Balloon printing from Rachel (",)

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Thanks for reading!

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– Rachel (“,)

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37 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful provocations. I find it really useful to hear what the children did through scaffolding from an adult and what they got up to independently so thanks for talking through that too!

    Reply
    • Thanks Claire. Not everything always goes to plan!! 😉

      Reply
  2. These provocations are amazing, very inspiring…Thank you very much for this treasure!

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    • Thank you, Anca! (“,)

      Reply
  3. Fab! Inspirational.

    How about adding google+ and pinterest …..deserves more sharing!

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    • Thanks Catherine!
      I’m trying to work out how to do it! Am a keen ‘pinner’ myself & am more than happy for people to share my posts.
      The ability to share is at the bottom of each post, but it isn’t very visible. A job on my (long) list! 😉

      Reply
  4. Hi, love the idea of leaf threading but I am alarmed by the leaves you have used, they look like laurel leaves which are very TOXIC (they produce cyanide). Just want to warn people to be very careful with their choice of leaves for this activity especially with small children.

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    • Thanks, Rachel. I have added a little note to the post to warn people. These bushes are actually all the way long our Foundation Stage garden, so I think I will be having a word at school too. We’re having a new building soon, so I shall make sure they are not planted.
      We only actually used the leaves (of this type) that you can see in the tray in the picture; the rest were a different variety. Phew! 😉

      Reply
  5. Love your ideas and presentation of materials. 🙂

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    • Thank you, Kathleen! (“,)

      Reply
  6. So many terrific ideas! Love it! Thanks so much for sharing on my FB page; pinned!

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    • Thank you! (“,)

      Reply
  7. Lovely ideas 🙂 thanks a lot for sharing

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    • You are welcome Munira – & thank you! (“,)

      Reply
  8. I’m a preschool teacher in the Philippines and I just love your ideas for teaching!

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    • Thank you, January! (“,)

      Reply
  9. Thank you for sharing! I love all these ideas and hope to utilize them in my classroom. I especially love the math skills that the kids will learn from while having fun playing 🙂 great idea for our favorite book week theme!!

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    • Thanks, Chrissie! (“,)

      Reply
  10. Thank you for sharing such creative ideas!It helps children to see things through their aesthetic lens.

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    • Thank you, Teresa! (“,)

      Reply
  11. This is such an amazing post. I found it through Teach Preschool’s Facebook page. The various center ideas you share in this post are awesome.

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    • Thank you so much, Deirdre. I enjoy your blog posts too, so that means a lot (“,)

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      • Sorry me again! Where do u get yr resources from? Thanks again for sharing.

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        • Crikey, all over the place! Urm, charity shops, eBay, general Internet searches, school catalogues. Any particular resources in particular? Rachel (“,)

          Reply
  12. Thank you so much for sharing this, you are an inspiration . Love every bit of it

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    • Oh thank you, Lisa, what a lovely thing to say! (“,)

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  13. Love your ideas, will definitely be trying out some of these!

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    • Have fun! (“,)

      Reply
  14. Thank you so much for sharing,love your great awesome ideas:)

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    • Thanks Janette, hope you can use some of them (“,)

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  15. So enjoying perusing your blog!
    Does your school provide you with a materials budget, or are you on your own? (A nosy question…disregard if you find it impolite, pls!)
    A traditional, typical preschool here in the US will have a ton of plastic–containers, toys, etc. I am trying to incorporate natural materials–wooden containers/bowls, baskets, wire/metal containers, wood/fiber/glass/natural loose materials, etc–but it can get expensive!

    Reply
    • A typical school over here in the UK will have lots of plastic containers too! Although I do think that lovely people sharing beautiful environments on Pinterest & Facebook is having a good influence!
      We get a budget provided by school & have access to money to buy consumable items, but I do spend a LOT of my own money. All the wooden bowls, beautiful glass nuggets (& lots of other things are mine) & go with me where I go. I think they make such a difference in how we present resources to the children. I’d find it had to go back to plastic dishes!
      Really glad you’re enjoying looking at my blog. Thanks for subscribing! (“,)

      Reply
  16. subscribing!

    Reply
  17. What an amazing collection of ideas Rachel! There’s so much here and your photos are amazing! I decided to include you as a feature in my Love to Learn Linky post this week! Best, Sue

    Reply
    • Oh thank you, Sue! We really enjoyed the activities, glad you like them too. Thanks for featuring us! (“,)

      Reply
  18. Beautiful presentations! So much creative and educational fun!

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    • Thank you very much, Cathy! 🙂

      Reply

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