Last time you heard about our new caterpillar friend, he was freshly made and very hungry. So we explored our pantry in search of things to feed the very hungry caterpillar. Good thing we just did our shopping! The pantry was full, so we went right on making our very hungry caterpillar sensory bin.
Budster was an expert at feeding caterpillars, so out went one apple, two pears, three strawberries, four plums and five oranges! (I would not be surprised if my readers knew the story by heart, in which case I feel the need to mention: the caterpillar in the book ate three plums and four strawberries, but we did not have enough of the later.)
Then we built a small house for the caterpillar. We filled the plastic bin with black beans to represent the soil, leaves and flowers. Budster has not played with beans for a while, and he was very excited, scooping them and saying, “Bean! Bean!” Beans are actually one of his favourite things to eat, so he was very interested in exploring them raw.
In the meanwhile, I used white play-dough to make a little egg. I showed it to Budster, “In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf…” I have told him this story countless times. Since he was a little baby, he has liked the caterpillar. There have been periods when he showed less interest in the book, but it is back to being one of his favourite stories to listen to, while falling asleep.
No matter how many times we read the story, acting it out brings a fresh view! As soon as we got to Monday, it was time to feed the caterpillar. Budster did a splendid job, offering all the right fruits to his caterpillar friend and saying encouragingly, “Nyamu! Nyamu!” That is his way of saying “yummy”.
Then we practised counting. Budster has been learning a lot of new words, but it was still a surprise to me when I heard him use “one”. Now I can proudly say that my son can count to… one! He points at one thing in a row of objects and seriously says, “One!” Then, he goes on, using made-up words, in that very intonation I use, while counting. He also asked me to count aloud, and counting all the fruits was a fun experience.
Finally, we did some tasting. Budster was especially interested in a separate bowl that had the caterpillar’s Saturday snack. It was pretty disappointing to find out that we were out of chocolate cakes and lollipops at the moment. We did not even have ice-cream or cupcakes! We only managed to find a piece of sausage, some cheese, a pickle and a bit of dark chocolate. Well, Budster fed the caterpillar the pickle and the chocolate bit, saying emphatically, “Nyamu!” Then happily shared the chocolate with me and ate the pickle by himself, along with an apple, a strawberry and, later, an orange. It was the most delicious bin we have had yet!
To finish the story, we wrapped the caterpillar in the cocoon (“coo-coon!”) of a leaf, and in a timely fashion, it was turned into a beautiful butterfly! But Budster wanted the caterpillar back in the bin as well, so I guess the butterfly promptly reared a baby caterpillar to complete a life cycle.
If you liked reading about the little caterpillar adventures, you may find these related activities interesting:
– The Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft: make your own caterpillar out of polymer clay or Plasticine
– Little House in the Pumpkin: for an autumn sensory bin make a little pumpkin house and invite animals to live in it
– Discovering Sea Life: turn a water table into an aquarium