Caterpillar crafts are a fun way to get preschool kids interested in the world of insects. They are pretty magical when you think about it. Those wiggly green caterpillars start from eggs, grow into caterpillars, go into a chrysalis, and emerge as beautiful butterflies. Add a few of these projects to your caterpillar or butterfly lesson plans, or make them to decorate the fridge and windows for spring.
These caterpillar art projects help children work on many important fine motor skills, such as gripping paintbrushes, threading beads, crumping paper, and using scissors. Plus, they’re just plain FUN!
Ready to get started? Scan this list, grab your craft supplies, and make one of these caterpillar craft ideas today.
If you’re learning all about caterpillars, you may be interested in these butterfly crafts, too. You’ll find lots of bright, colorful projects to make!
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Crafts
Find your copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar book to read before tackling these cute crafts. Once you’re finished with the story, set up Eric Carle’s book to serve as a model for the children to look at while they make their own colorful caterpillars.
1. Wiggling Caterpillar
Use paper fasteners to make a caterpillar that really wiggles! Grab the template from Fireflies and Mud Pies, and use washable paint or watercolors to make them bright and beautiful. Kids can pattern the colors after Eric Carle’s Very Hungry Caterpillar or use their own color scheme.
2. Very Hungry Caterpillar Puppet
Puppets are great for engaging children in imaginative play. They’re also useful for working on listening skills and language skills, especially when used to reenact stories. Use these Very Hungry Caterpillar puppets from Messy Little Monster to reenact favorite parts of this childhood classic.
3. Sponge-Painted Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft
Cut sponges into circle shapes so kids can quickly stamp out their caterpillars. This sponge-painted caterpillar from Buggy and Buddy looks just like the one from the book! Just add eyes, legs, and antennae after you’re finished painting to complete this cute little bug.
4. Egg Carton Caterpillar Craft
Why not recycle an old egg carton to turn it into a fun craft and plaything for the kids? With a bit of green paint, some pipe cleaners, and googly eyes, you’ll have a bright green egg carton caterpillar like this one from Two Pink Peonies in no time. Paint its head red to make it look like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
5. Cupcake Liner Very Hungry Caterpillar
Use cupcake liners to make this fun caterpillar craft from Artsy Craftsy Mom. Add googly eyes, paper antennae, and draw on tiny little feet. It’s the perfect simple craft for toddlers and preschoolers.
6. Pipe Cleaner Very Hungry Caterpillar
All you need are glue, pipe cleaners, and craft sticks to make this easy Very Hungry Caterpillar craft by Messy Little Monster. Cut the craft sticks into to make a segmented body, then wrap the segments in pipe cleaners in different shades of green and yellow for the body, and red and blue for the head.
7. Crumpled Paper Caterpillar Craft
Crumpling paper is a simple way to work on fine motor skill development with toddlers and preschoolers. The project from Fantastic Fun and Learning entails folding, squeezing, bunching, and bending construction paper to make a cute crumpled paper caterpillar.
8. Caterpillar Necklace
This craft from Buggy and Buddy has it all. It’s part macaroni art, part paper craft, and part jewelry. Kids will love sporting their new caterpillar necklaces once they’ve finished assembling them.
9. Watercolor Caterpillar
It’s time to get out the watercolors to make a stunningly beautiful watercolor caterpillar like this one from Kids Activities Blog. Using watercolors is a fun way to practice mixing colors, as you see here with the blue, yellow, and green. Either cut out circles using a cookie cutter for a template, or use a large hole punch. The circles don’t have to be perfect; misshapen ones only add whimsy to this cute character.
10. Collage Caterpillars
Grab some cardboard from your stash of boxes to make the caterpillar shape for this fun craft. Then, cut out paper squares in various shades of green to layer on these collage caterpillars from Learning and Exploring Through Play. Paint the head of the caterpillar in red, yellow, green, and purple to finish these cardboard cuties.
11. Crunching Munching Caterpillar
This crunching munching caterpillar craft from Arty Crafty Kids will provide hours of fun for preschool kids. First, you’ll paint the paper plate leaf. Use any fun technique to paint it—pom poms, sponges, paintbrushes, or finger paints! Once that’s done, make your caterpillar out of felt pieces and a craft stick. It’s one of our favorite crafts on the list!
More Catperillar Crafts for Kids
12. Pom Pom Caterpillar
Any kid will love making a fuzzy pom pom caterpillar that’s super cute and easy to put together. Small or large pom poms work, but the bigger the better when it comes to toddlers and preschoolers. Grab the printable leaf pattern from Mommy Made That (or use real leaves) and punch holes in it to make it look like the caterpillar is munching his way through.
13. C is for Caterpillar Craft
Get ready to learn all about the third letter of the alphabet with this adorable C is for caterpillar craft from Crayons and Cravings. You’ll need foam sheets, scissors, glue, and the printable template to cut out all the pieces to assemble your letters and caterpillars. Not only is it a fun way to learn this letter, but it would make an adorable piece of room décor for a child whose name starts with C.
14. Caterpillar Color Sorting Bag
Practice color identification with this caterpillar color sorting sensory bag from The Best Ideas for Kids. Easy to set up and fun to play with, it’s a great way to work on fine motor skills and colors. Using their fingers, kids push each bead through the hair gel into the matching color circle.
15. Button Caterpillar
Whether you have an ongoing button stash or just bought some at the craft store, this cute as a button caterpillar from Divine Lifestyle is sure to get the kids smiling. Layer and glue buttons of various sizes to build the body, and add pipe cleaner antennae and googly eyes to the head. Boom! Your bug is done.
16. Beaded Caterpillars
Thread beads onto string or pipe cleaners to make colorful beaded caterpillars like these from Messy Little Monster. Print out the paper leaf template, and punch some holes using a single hole punch to look like the caterpillar has been eating through it. Use a larger hole punch if you want the children to be able to move their caterpillars through the holes for even more fine motor practice.
17. Paper Tube Caterpillar
Turn toilet paper rolls into a cute caterpillar craft with a focus on color sorting and color recognition. Paint each tube a different color that coordinates with the pom poms you have, then give your child a pile of them to sort. You can use counting bears, Legos, or other manipulatives instead of pom poms for this project from Hello Wonderful if you’d like.
18. Paper Plate Caterpillar Craft
It doesn’t get much cuter than these paper plate caterpillars from Craft Play Learn. It’s pretty simple to get the kids started. They’ll need to cut a squiggly or wavy shape from their paper plates, and then fill in the shape with fluffy pom poms. Don’t forget the eyes and antennae! This is a cute way to make a “movable” version of the pom pom caterpillars that kids can move around on the table or grass.
19. Wooly Caterpillar
Grab some jumbo pom poms (or make some of your own) for these wooly caterpillars from Powerful Mothering. They’re glued together using craft glue or a hot glue gun, but if you want them to be longer-lasting, try sewing them instead. They’d make a terrific toy for any kid who’s crazy about bugs.
20. Caterpillar Suncatcher
Fireflies and Mud Pies has a terrific step by step tutorial for making a caterpillar suncatcher to put in your window. This is a practical way to reuse those playdough lids—you know you have some dried-out canisters of the stuff you haven’t thrown out yet. Add pipe cleaner feet and antenna, draw on a mouth, and pop on some googly eyes to finish it. It’ll look so cute with the sunlight shining behind it.
21. Fine Motor Caterpillar
Go outside to gather sticks for this fine motor caterpillar idea from Learning and Exploring Through Play. Once you have several sticks, wrap colorful pipe cleaners around them for the caterpillar’s body, and finish with a pom pom head.
22. Paper Circles Caterpillar Craft
It couldn’t be easier to set up this paper circle caterpillar craft by Easy Peasy and Fun. You’ll need blue, yellow, red, and green paper, school glue, and a large circle punch. No circle punch? No problem! Just let the kiddos practice their scissors skills. Use paper googly eyes or plastic ones, and remember to draw a smile on its face.
23. Rock Garden Caterpillar
Rock painting is a fun activity for the whole family. Try your hand at it with this charming rock garden caterpillar from Nellie Bellie. It’ll look so lovely in your garden or on your patio this spring.
24. Counting Caterpillar
Practice numbers 1 through 5 with a counting caterpillar! This easy caterpillar craft from Powerful Mothering is made with construction paper and a paper plate. The caterpillar’s body is made of five segments that kids can practice counting on. To further reinforce counting and number recognition, provide mini clothespins for the children to clip on to each number.
25. Yarn-Wrapped Caterpillars
Don’t these colorful yarn caterpillars make you smile? Find out how to make them at Kids Activities Blog. Use rainbow yarn for this vivid option, or opt for classic green. Either way, they’ll be totally adorable and are perfect for pretend play.
We hope you found a cute caterpillar craft to make with your preschoolers (though they’re fun for kids of all ages). Pin this list to come back to year after year when your preschool class is studying these insects.