Time: 45 min
- White Craft Glue
- Cardboard Egg Carton
- Construction Paper
- Pipe Cleaners
- Jiggly Eyes or Buttons
- Poster Paint
- Cut off the lid from the egg carton. Use the bottom section of the egg carton for this project.
- Cut the bottom section of the egg carton in half lengthwise.
- Cut off the lip of the egg carton if necessary so that the edges are even all of the way around.
- Paint the egg carton in bright colors. Add spots and stripes to make the caterpillar unique and realistic. Let the paint dry.
- Glue two Jiggly Eyes to one end of the egg carton. Draw a mouth with markers.
- Cut a sheet of construction paper into six strips to make legs. Make sure each strip is slightly longer than the width of the egg carton so it sticks out on both sides of it. Turn over the egg carton and glue the strips to the separators between each section. Let the glue dry completely.
- Turn over the caterpillar and poke pipe cleaners into the top of the front section for antennae.
Other ideas to make the project even more fun! You can always do this before the project or in the middle while the caterpillar is drying:
- Ask children to help you list the different body parts of a caterpillar—its body segments, legs, antennae, eyes, etc. Discuss the function of each body part. Talk about how insects have distinct body structures that serve specific functions. Brainstorm a list of other insects and their unique body structures.
- Use this project to introduce the subject of life cycles. Discuss how a butterfly matures from an egg to a caterpillar (larva) to a pupa (chrysalis) to an adult butterfly. Introduce the vocabulary word metamorphosis. Have children draw pictures of the butterfly’s life cycle. Then, discuss other animals that have life cycles, such as the frog.
- Read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.
- If there is more time, they can create other fun creatures like spiders and bumble bees (shown in the picture above)