A “C” is for caterpillar theme is fun way to introduce phonics and the letter C, explore science and math concepts, reinforce preschool skills like naming colors and shapes as well as practicing fine and gross motor skills through games and crafts.
All worthy preschool lesson plans begin with worthy books.
Suggested books for “C” is for Caterpillar theme preschool lesson plans:
From Caterpillar to Butterfly, a Let’s-Read-and-Find Science Stage 1 book, by Deborah Heiligman and Bari Weissman
Clara Caterpillar by Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole
Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom Deluise and Christopher Santoro
The Crunching Munching Caterpillar (Tiger Tales) by Sheridan Cain and Jack Tickle
Ten Wriggly Wiggly Caterpillars by Debbie Tarbett
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack
Last but never least, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, is a must read preschool favorite.
“C” is for Caterpillar theme preschool crafts:
Colored construction paper
Optional: craft wiggly eyes
To create a caterpillar craft, preschoolers should be allowed to cut out construction paper circles in a variety of colors. Of course, if children lack cuttings skills, these can be precut but it is always beneficial to model and allow to them to try.
For beginners it may be appropriate to cut most circles but still let them try one on their own. Remember they will learn by doing and cutting their own will not only build skills but make their project uniquely their own.
Once the colored circles have been cut, students can glue them onto a background. Depending on time and class size restraints, kids can glue these in any order they choose and later practice identifying the colors to the teacher or group or teachers can instruct students to glue colors on in a certain order by identifying them. Either way, to make the activity valuable for learning colors, teachers should hold up circles as a visual clue and repeat the shape and color names.
Kids can draw on eyes with markers or glue on wiggly eyes to complete the caterpillars. In addition to teaching colors, number words can be reinforced during and after the creation of the caterpillars.
Five circles for a caterpillar is a great number for preschoolers and for toddlers, you can use as few as three circles and for elementary students you can add up to ten.
Variations of the “C” is for Caterpillar theme preschool crafts:
Teachers and parents should used what is available and even better for students, lessons can be reinforced with a variety of mediums so I want to offer a few options that allow using different materials but still teaching the same shape, color and number concepts.
More caterpillar crafts can be created using:
Cookie dough and food coloring
Plastic bottle caps such as those from milk or juice jugs
“C” is for Caterpillar Gross Motor Games:
Children want to and need to be on the move. You can create a movement game for any preschool theme. Try this variation of Red Light, Green Light, which reinforces fast and slow. Kids run fast, caterpillars creep slowly and butterflies fly and flap their wings. After modeling each movement, simply call out “kids,” “caterpillars,” and “butterflies” randomly.
Write each of the letters in the word caterpillar on a piece of paper and also write them in large letters with sidewalk chalk on a blacktop. Create a relay by handing each child a letter and having them find and line up behind their letter. For preschoolers, the point here isn’t to teach them how to spell the word, but rather to recognize the letters and understand that letters in words have order.
Does everybody need a minute to stretch at transition time? Challenge kids to create a capital C and then a lowercase c by curving their arms out to their sides.
“C” is for Caterpillar snacks:
Of course three small cookies, frosted with green icing, slightly overlapping with a raisin eye makes a cute and sweet caterpillar treat.
For a sugar free version, try spinach dip spread on three Ritz crackers, slightly overlapping with a sliced black olive eye.
It is amazing to “C” how much preschoolers can learn with fun thematic lesson plans.
More letter C lesson plans: C is for Cat.
Next up: D lesson plans: D is for Dinosaur.