Speech and Language Development with the Very Hungry Caterpillar!

By Hannah Schultz, M.S., CCC-SLP

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is one of my favorite books.  Not only are the illustrations bright and bold, the story is easy to follow for children of any age, and there are many ways to adapt it to work on a variety of language skills.  From working on sounds to categories to WH questions, there are so many great activities to do with this book.

Speech and Language Targets:

  • The different food items can be an excellent way to work on single and multisyllabic words
  • Counting and colors
  • Categories of food (fruit, dessert, snacks, etc.)
  • WH questions (i.e. What is your favorite food? What food do you hate? Where do we keep ice cream? Where is the refrigerator? Who makes you breakfast? When do we put candles on a cake? Why does the caterpillar keep eating?) The list is endless!
  • Sequencing skills and following directions (FIRST the caterpillar ate an apple. SECOND he ate two pears…) Caregivers can also talk about the sequence of a caterpillar’s life.

This book has endless opportunities! Books are important to a child’s development but there are times when sitting down to read or look at a book may be difficult. Having some sort of prop to go along with books, that children can move and manipulate can help with their interest and engagement. With the help of glue, felt and some imagination, a Parmesan cheese container can easily be transformed into your very own hungry caterpillar.

Here is how my caterpillar turned out:

Click on this link for simple directions to make a hungry caterpillar at home.

Have FUN!



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