The Hungry Caterpillar
March 2020


One morning, on a cold wintery day, Sam discovered a caterpillar crawling along the ground. Sam, Adelyn and Yuvik huddled around the caterpillar. “Why is it in a ball”, Adelyn asked. “It’s protecting itself”, Sam responded. Kelley observed the three friends asking questions to each other. Kelley asked them where they thought a safe place would be to put the caterpillar. Sam suggested in his pocket. Do you think the caterpillar would be able to breathe in your pocket Sam? I think so, Sam said. Would you be able to breathe if you were in someone’s pocket? "No"said Sam. Where would a safe place be to put the caterpillar. “I know, in the tree”, said Sam. Yuvik agreed that was a good idea. I know, let’s cover it with leaves, then it will be warm. Yuvik and Sam found a pile of leaves and placed it on the caterpillar in the tree. Thiswas a great learning experience to teach the children empathy for a living creature. 


preschool girl down on the ground looking closely at a curled caterpillar

tree with leaves sitting between branches covering a caterpillar


We continued talking about the caterpillar we found outside and decided to read the story, the hungry caterpillar. We related it back to the caterpillar we found outside and wondered why we found a caterpillar outside in the cold. We had a discussion about it wanting to find food. Serena noticed how the caterpillar turned into a butterfly in the story. To explore the groups interest a hungry caterpillar sensory bin was created. A Pom-pom caterpillar with artificial leaves and a long stick for the branch. She glued a yellow Pom-pom on the stick to replicate the egg in the story. A cocoon was added using brown sock, stuffed it with paper towel and tied it around the stick. Cole asked how the caterpillar was going to get into the cocoon. Dylan wondered how the caterpillar turned into a cocoon. Brady loved playing with the caterpillars. He demonstrated a gentle and friendly demeanor towards the caterpillars. Brady learned empathy by understanding how to treat a caterpillar. He took the caterpillar wherever he went and even ate lunch with it.


child's hands holding and pompom caterpillar gently on a leaf


We further explored the children’s inquiries on the iPad and looked at videos and pictures of the process of metamorphosis. Logan, Brady, Serena, Saraya, Dylan, Cole, and Oliver closely observed the process of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. As they were watching the videos, they were making new discoveries and creating new schemas in their mind. “Is the caterpillar going to turn into a butterfly”, Serena asked?


apple cartons cut into stips on a table with paint

Throughout the week, we continued to provide materials to expand their interest in caterpillars. We cut strips out of the apple holders which resembled the segmented body of the caterpillar and provided paint and pipe cleaners the children used the paint and to create their own caterpillars. We introduced abstract symmetrical art by painting one side of the paper and asking what would happen if we folded it? When they tested this they were surprised to see a butterfly. Roselynn and Callie decorated their butterfly with gems. The children were amazed to see the beautiful colors in their art. We have been engaging in patterning and geometry using tans,(seven flat geometric shapes used in tangram puzzles), and Dylan even made his very own caterpillar using the geometric shapes. His caterpillar stretched along the table with a large head and small legs.


preschool boy building a caterpillar with tans


 The children had fun learning about caterpillars and learning about the process of metamorphosis. Have you found any interesting things while outside?





Contact Us

55 Hammet Street
Cambridge, Ontario
N3C 2H5

Hours of Operation
6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

(519) 220-1148


portrait of lisa

Lisa Rintoul, RECE

Headshot of Tracey Ruppenthal

Tracey Ruppenthal, RECE
Assistant Supervisor