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Party Themes - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Updated on April 30, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic children's book by Eric Carle about a caterpillars week and everything he eats before transforming into a butterfly. Children love it because of the wonderful art work while parents and teachers love the was that it teaches the lifecycle of a butterfly and reenforces the days of the week. Transforming this book into a pre-schoolers party theme is fun and familiar to your small party guests and whimsical for the grown ups.

Recommended for: Ages 2 - 4


Idea 1 - Save mason jars or baby food jars. Cut out a paper leaf that will fit in the jars and write the invitation on it. Put it in the jar along with a caterpillar made of pipe cleaners. put the lid on the jar and give them out to guests.

Idea 2 - punch holes in die cuts of the foods that the caterpillar ate and string them on to yarn. On the back of each piece write the party information and give them out to your little guests to wear as necklaces home to their parents.


  • Hang 5-8 green paper lanterns in a line with a red one at the end. On the red one cut out green circles for eyes and a nose and use pipe cleaners as antenna, now you have a giant caterpillar hanging from the ceiling.
  • Butterflies. At a party store or craft store find nylon butterflies and use them as accents everywhere.
  • Red and Green streamers strung across the ceiling

Games and Activities


  • By cutting old egg cartons apart so that only three sections are together the kids can make their own caterpillars. Give them washable tempera paint to decorate the caterpillars and use pipe cleaners for the antennas and google eyes for the eyes.

Scavenger Hunt

  • Give the children a picture list (a paper with pictures rather than the words because chances are your guests can’t read) of the food the caterpillar eats. Have the toy versions of those foods hidden around the house and have the children fins as many as they can.

Caterpillar Races

  • Have the children pretend to be caterpillars and wiggle their way to the finish line.

Story Time

  • If some down time is needed or while lunch is being served take some time to read the story to the children.


  • Include fruit that the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate such as apples, oranges, plums and strawberries
  • The caterpillar also ate stuff for sandwiches so on a platter serve a variety of crackers, cheese and lunch meat
  • By the end of the week the caterpillar was on to dessert so don’t forget the cake and ice-cream


  • Bags of Caterpillar food - M&Ms
  • Butterfly or Caterpillar shaped stuffed animals

TIP: If your guest are under the age of three be sure that none of the favors can fit threw a toilet paper roll because if they are that small they are a choking hazard.


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