The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Experience


Read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” then do some counting

Materials Required

  1. Book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle or watch the animation below (or do both)
  2. Household items to count – whatever you have (blocks, fruit, cutlery, pencils, toys)


Read the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and/or watch the animation – Collect household items for counting up to 5 (or more).

Method (or Ideas)

  1. Read the book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and/or watch the animation.
  2. As you read the story pause to allow your child to count the food items. Can they point to each item and count along with their finger?
  3. Encourage your child to name each food item.
  4. After reading the story, encourage your child to cover their eyes while you set up a number of household items to count.
  5. Say “ready to count”- then have children uncover their eyes and count the items in front of them.

Facilitation Tips – What To Say

  • What is this fruit called?
  • How many plums did the very hungry caterpillar eat?
  • How many oranges did the very hungry caterpillar eat?
  • Cover your eyes- no peeking. Are you ready to count?
  • How many cars can you see?
  • How many spoons do I have?

Extend the Experience

Encourage children to count up to 10 if they can.

Children could sort the counted items according to colour, size, material etc.

Draw pictures of each of the fruits (or search for printable templates) and then put these in the correct story sequence.

Look at the lifecycle of a butterfly in the story – egg, caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly

WHO Guidelines for Physical Activity & Sedentary Behaviour

Go outside and search for caterpillars of butterflies – this will promote physical activity.

Early Years Learning Framework


  1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity
  2. Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work
  3. Children engage with a range of texts and gain meaning from these texts


Principle 3: High expectations and equity. Children progress well when they, their parents and educators hold high expectations for their achievement in learning.


Practice: Intentional teaching. Intentional teaching is deliberate, purposeful and thoughtful. They use strategies such as modelling and demonstrating, open questioning, speculating, explaining, engaging in shared thinking and problem solving to extend children’s thinking and learning.

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