The Very Hungry Caterpillar: feeding the caterpillar

‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle is one of those kids books that will be read for many generations to come. I’m 28 and remember reading and enjoying it when I was little. I bought the book for Harrison when I was about five months pregnant, and we have read it many times!
We weren’t going to start this theme until Monday, but the kids spotted the bits for it and I’m not going to discourage them!!

First of all we decorated the wall in the dining room with some Very Hungry Caterpillar things. This wall is opposite where the kids sit to eat so they will see it a lot, and over the week we will add our bits to it.

We made a caterpillar spelling out their names. This was simple to make. On green paper I cut out circles for each letter and a red circle for the head. On the red circle I drew a friendly face and on the body we wrote the letters. This is great for teaching letters and name recognition. Harrison points excitedly every time he sees it!!

I also printed out and laminated (yes, I love laminating. Stand still long enough and I will laminate you!) these days of the week cards from Making Learning Fun. These are also on the wall and when we finish the theme, we will put these in a story sack.

As well as this, I printed off some cute little number cards showing what the caterpillar ate each day, which will also be laminated for the story sack! These can be downloaded here.

They loved playing ‘feed the caterpillar’ which was a great start and hook into the theme. This had taken a bit of prior preparation one night last week, when everyone had gone to bed. I used up all my odds and ends of felt but it could easily be done with paper – you could print these fab printables off from Twinkl


I covered a tube (Pringles type) with green paper and used a craft knife to cut a ‘mouth’ in the plastic lid.  I used a glue gun to stick on pipe cleaners for antannae. I then used the scraps of felt to create all the food from the story. This was fiddly but fun!!

We sat and read the story together and ‘fed’ the caterpillar the food as we went through it. They loved this!! It was perfect for numeracy skills as they counted them, speaking skills as they told me what each item was, and great for fine motor skill development as the had to push the food into a small slit – perfect for Alex!!!


Long after finishing the story, they were still having fun with it, and even wanted to play with it whilst watching their new ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ DVD that nanny bought them (from The Works, £2.99!).

A great start to our themed week!

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Kiddycharts Blog

‘100 Christmas Things To Make and Do’ : a review

After reading my review on the fantastic ‘That’s Not My…’ series, the PR people at Usborne asked me if I wanted to review a Christmas activity book. I jumped at the chance. How could I turn down 100 Christmas activity ideas?!

When I received the book, it was a lot smaller than I anticipated, as most activity books seem to be A4 sort of size. This is great ‘flick through’ size. I fell in love straight away with the colourful pages and clear step by step instructions. Each instruction comes with a picture which is brilliant for kids ( and adults like me!) who need the visuals.

None of the activities appear over complicated, but just challenging enough to be interesting. It’s perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, and if I put my teacher hat on, I can see it being great if you want 30 primary school aged kids working on an activity independently! All of the activities use materials and equipment that most parents will already have at home so no expensive shopping trips to buy all the bits. The only thing I would say is read the whole activity through first to check you have all the bits as there is no ‘you will need’ lists.

The variety of activities is fantastic. There are pictures, decorations, advent calendars, wrapping paper, cards and even some lovely simple Christmas recipes – great for getting kids in the kitchen!

My only criticism of the book is that it doesn’t stay open which might get a bit annoying if you’re referring to it whilst you’re doing the activity. Perhaps making it spiral bound would help that but otherwise you may want something to hand to weigh the pages down whilst using it.

I can’t wait to get stuck in and try out as many as possible before the big man in red visits. It’s already full of post it notes for the ‘must do’ activities. Going to have a go at the advent calendar tomorrow!

Keep your eyes peeled for lots of
activities from the book, and check out my Facebook page activities 4 Kidz or follow me on twitter @activities4kidz for more ideas!

‘100 Christmas Things to Make and Do’ is published by Usborne and is available from Amazon and other bookshops, RRP £7.99

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.




‘That’s Not My…’: A review

I love reading. To me, there’s nothing more calming and magical than losing myself in a book. As a teacher in ‘life before kids’, I also understand the importance of installing an early love of reading. Babies and toddlers are like sponges – get them into books & you’ll help them for life! My boys love reading and have literally hundreds of books. I’ve actually been banned from buying any more (although I’m a master of sneaking them into the bookcase!).

Some of out favourite books are the ‘That’s Not My…’ touchy feely books by Fiona Watt, and published by Usborne. They are the perfect books to start off a child’s library and get them interested in books. We have quite a collection and still have many more to collect!
Our first one was ‘That’s Not My Puppy’ which was a gift when Harrison was born. When he was two or three months old I sat with him and read the book to him, rubbing his fingers over the different textures. He loved it and so our collection started.

These durable wipe clean books are perfect sized for little hands to hold and touch. They’re bright and colourful – a must for any children’s book. The story starts on the front cover and had the textured patch – a perfect way to grab interest’. Each double page of these board books have the textured patches (rough, bumpy, fluffy, smooth etc) which helps with sensory development and speech and language. They’re brilliant for encouraging new vocabulary. The text is big, clear and simple and babies and toddlers will love the repetitive phrases.
The patches are a generous size to help develop fine motor skills.
At two and a half years old I’m not sure how much longer these books are going to hold Harrison’s interest. He still loves looking at them and sharing them with his brother but his vocabulary range is now beyond the books. At 13 months though, Alex is the perfect age to enjoy these books and I’m looking forward to sharing them with friends in the future.



I didn’t receive anything for this review, these were books we already owned and loved.