Kids often take great satisfaction in crumpling up a piece of paper into a ball. Today we’re incorporating that playful action into an insect-themed lesson plan with a colorful art project. Balls of paper will be transformed into cute caterpillars! Fine motor skill development will be on full display as little fingers get a workout folding, bending, crumpling, and squeezing paper. Let’s grab some paper and get ready to crumple as kids make their own crumpled paper caterpillar craft!
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Caterpillar Facts for Kids
- Most caterpillars are green or brown.
- Caterpillars have soft bodies.
- Caterpillars love to eat!
- Caterpillars produce silk which they use to build a cocoon/chrysalis.
- Caterpillars become butterflies.
Literacy Connection: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Arguably the most popular children’s book about caterpillars is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. The book is filled with beautiful painted paper illustrations. Carle is a beloved author and illustrator whose bounty of books can be found in most classrooms and homes across the country. His work is often the inspiration for many art projects and classroom activities. You may wish to read the book before you begin this project and model your crumpled caterpillar after his character in the book.
If you’re looking for other caterpillar-related books, check out our list of Butterfly books for kids!
Combine Art & Nature as You Build Background Knowledge for the Crumpled Paper Caterpillar Art Project
Before you begin this art project head outside to the garden and see if you can spot any caterpillars or butterflies. Are they crawling or flying? Are they moving quickly or slowly? Take note of the colors of the caterpillar and model your artwork accordingly if you wish to create a realistic caterpillar.
Materials for the Crumpled Paper Caterpillar Craft:
- Colorful Construction Paper
- White Glue
- Small Plastic Cup or Paper Towel Tube
- Tempera Paint
Step By Step Directions:
1. Up & Down
Dip the open end of a small plastic cup into paint and stamp an array of circles onto a piece of construction paper for the background. You may also use a paper towel tube instead of a cup. Let the paint dry.
2. Crumple & Squeeze
Crumple up a piece of construction paper to form a ball. Make four to six balls to form the caterpillar’s body. You may wish to create a color pattern. Make another ball for the head. Glue all the balls to the background paper. What is your caterpillar doing? Crawling across the paper in a straight line or wiggling diagonally?
3. Back & Forth
Make the legs of the caterpillar by cutting small rectangular strips. Fold the strips accordion style. Glue the legs to the caterpillar.
4. Cut & Glue
Use construction paper to make the eyes, antennae, and nose.
Option: If your caterpillar is from the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar add food for him to eat. What food do you remember from the story? What are caterpillars supposed to eat?
Talk About Art
- Name your caterpillar.
- How did you create the body of your caterpillar?
- Identify the colors and shapes in your work.
- Can you identify any patterns in your work?
- What was your favorite part of the art making process?
Please share your colorful crumpled caterpillars with us on Instagram! Remember to tag @fantasticfunandlearning and @youngschoolartwithmr.g so we can see your creations!
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Get a Full Week of Butterfly Theme Learning and Play
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
2) Butterfly Life Cycle Roll and Graph Game
3) Caterpillar Uppercase Alphabet Cards
4) Butterfly Lowercase Alphabet Cards
5) Butterfly Life Cycle Cards
6) Butterfly Symmetry Matching Cards
7) Butterfly Life Cycle Word Building Mats
8) Caterpillar Measurement Recording Sheet
9) Caterpillar Patterning Activity
10) Caterpillar Syllable Sort
11) Caterpillar Egg Leaf Counting Mats (Numbers 1-10)
Get Your Lesson Plans
Also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.