The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle has always been one of Sean’s favorite books. It’s a great educational book because it teaches days of the week, sequencing, numbers, nutrition, and life cycles. Well, it’s not that great when teaching about life cycles because in the book, the caterpillar makes a cocoon then turns into a butterfly which is not true because only moths have cocoons and butterflies come out of chrysalids. Being a stickler for that kind of detail, when I read him that page, I say chrysalis instead of cocoon.
I remember making this flip book when I taught kindergarten but I don’t remember where the original idea came from. Anyways, to make this book, you need four regular 8 1/2 X 11 paper, some shape sponges (we used a small circle, a big circle, a triangle, and a heart), paint, a hole puncher, and a Sharpie. First you put the papers together and then move each one about half an inch above the next and then just fold them in a way that each successive page is longer the previous one. You can staple it on the top or just wait until the end to staple it just in case you want to redo a page. Next, use a Sharpie and go through the pages and write the title in the front, the days on the left side, and the numbers on the right side. Then use the sponges to make each page (you can only do a few pages at a time because you have to wait for the paint to dry). To make the plums and the pickle, just help your child pull the stamp in a downward or across motion to elongate the shape. After you are done, go through and use the hole puncher to punch a hole in the pictures. The one hole puncher doesn’t reach the middle so to do this, just fold where you want the hole in the picture and make half a punch. When you open the paper again, it will become a whole punch.
I remember doing it a long time ago and having the kids use their two handprints to make the butterfly in the back of the book but Sean didn’t feel like it so we used the shape stamps. Then at the end, go back and use the Sharpie to add details to the stamps. Sean loves to retell the story using the book and it has helped him learn his days of the week too.