Clubhouse Creation Station: DIY Hungry Caterpillar

Some of our favorite activities around the Clubhouse have always been to take our favorite books and bring them to life...

The Very Hungry Caterpillar has so many different corresponding crafts & activities floating around Pinterest that you can find just about any way to expand upon this classic. As a matter of fact, we have quite a few ideas for this book, and many others, on our Bringing Books To Life Pinterest Board.

As fun as a lot of those crafts are, you know what it's like when you're having one of those days? The days where a structured activity with a specific end result makes for a couple of cranky kids who complain they are "bored" as they follow the steps?! Yeah, you know those days.

Those days are the reason we have a lot of open ended activities here. Children like to be free to create whatever their imaginations deem worthy. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against printables, and absolutely no issues with structure. At this age especially though, children should be given multiple opportunities in which they are free to create whatever they please. Hence, the birth of our creation stations. They are a semi-structured way to present an open-ended craft/activity. One of our favorites is Clubhouse Creation Station: DIY Sensory Bags, and we bring that one back often.

Clubhouse Creation Station: DIY Hungry Caterpillar was easy to set up, and had some of the following items:
  • Green Pasta Noodles (dyed with food coloring and a little vinegar)
  • Green Pool Noodles (cut up in small sections)
  • Green Pipe Cleaners
  • Green Yarn
  • Red Beads
  • Construction Paper and Foam Pieces (variety of shapes and colors)
  • Markers
  • Craft Sticks
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
Of course we also had a copy of the book on hand, for reference purposes ;)

That was it. No set end result, not even a direction on where to start. Just the freedom to create.

My Clubhouse Kid got right to work on a caterpillar.

He decided to use pool noodles and glue.

I wanted to intervene here because I wasn't sure the pool noodles and glue would work well together, but that would defeat the whole purpose of a Creation Station, so I sat back, paging through the book as if I haven't read it 8,356 times.
He kept right on working.

When he was done with this part he said,
"I made my caterpillar three parts long!"

Great opportunity for us to take out the measuring tape, measure each "part", and see how long his caterpillar actually was. Math bonus, and I didn't even have to plan it ;)

Then he started writing on his caterpillar, and this was apparently top secret, no Mom eyes allowed. I went back to the book. 8,357.

It was worth the wait,

he decided to name his caterpillar and write her name right on her head.

I happen to love her name.

Notice how the Creation Station has now incorporated measuring and writing? Couldn't have planned it better myself. 

Next on his agenda, my Clubhouse Kid turned to his favorite page in the book and excitedly proclaimed, "Let's make some junk food!" 

Together we started making the food. We talked about the colors of the food and why they were or were not healthy. We cut out different shapes as he decided what shapes could be put together to make certain foods. He colored in details accordingly, and he was, of course, entirely in charge of the hole puncher. Preschoolers love hole punchers, especially when making a slice of swiss cheese!
Side by side, we brought the pages to life. 
When we were done, he lined them all up in a nice little row...

"We did it!!" 
He admired his handiwork and then quickly decided,

"Now we have to make the leaf so the caterpillar can eat healthy."

Things always progress nicely when it's all his idea ;)

We cut out the leaf, he added the stem.

Then, of course, he had to add the holes.

"1..2..3..4..5 holes."

Have I mentioned how much preschoolers love hole punchers?

Once the leaf was done, he was ready to read the story again and fully utilize all of our new "props".
So, we read.


Counting, measuring, cutting shapes, matching colors, using letters, discussing healthy vs. unhealthy foods, and more. How's that for some beginnning results of an open-ended project?

When we were done reading he said,  
"Tomorrow we will make the cocoon and the butterfly!".

Love when he does the lesson plan :)

Ms. Liz

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