The Caterpillar Badge is about one small rhino’s love for his caterpillar. It is a 7 minute long coming of age story. Typically for the writers of Hey Duggee, they take a run of the mill pre-school subject, in this case, the lifecycle of a butterfly, and turn it into a compelling short story.
The Caterpillar Badge offers a fresh take on the butterfly lifecycle, a subject children learn about at a young age. The episode is a simple one but it still offers a range of topics to draw activities from. I have picked out a couple of learning activities to tie into the badge as well as some simple recipes and crafts that are easy to do at home.
The Lifecycle of a Butterfly
One of the first science topics that pre-schoolers come across is the life cycle of a butterfly. Because of this, there are numerous resources out there on the internet to tap into.
The best range of life cycle educational aids can be found on Insectlore. You can even buy painted lady caterpillars and grow them into butterflies. When they emerge from their pupa you can release them into the wild.
Lots of outdoor activity books have spotter activities for butterflies and caterpillars. We like the activities in both the Gruffalo Spring and Summer Activity Book and Winnie the Pooh’s 50 Things to do Before You’re 5 ¾. In the Summer months Mud and Bloom boxes also often come with beautiful butterfly identification cards.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The story in The Caterpillar Badge clearly took inspiration from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. This timeless picture book is a staple of preschool. With its colourful illustrations and simple story it has inspired a multitude of activities. I could easily re-title this article “How to Get Your Very Hungry Caterpillar Badge”.
In the interests of keeping it simple, here are my tips for incorporating The Very Hungry Caterpillar into your Caterpillar Badge:
- Read the book together.
- Look at what real caterpillars eat. The Butterfly Conservation website has lots of useful information, including a page on caterpillar food plants. Click here to find out more.
- Look out for caterpillars when you are exploring outside. Early summer is the best time to see them munching on nettles or through cabbage leaves.
Caterpillar Badge Recipes
The caterpillar is a surprisingly versatile shape to make exciting foods out of. Many readers will be familiar with Colin the Caterpillar cakes, a children’s party favourite. My recommendations for caterpillar recipes are a healthy fruit snack straight from the Hey Duggee Website and a delicious chocolatey option from The Gruffalo Crumble Cookbook.
Butterflies are also favourites in children’s cookbooks. Butterfly cakes are an easy way to spice up a simple bun and butterfly biscuits are fun to decorate. Recipes for both can be found in Baking with Tiny Tots.
Caterpillar Badge Crafts
The cardboard tube is a versatile and popular crafting material. There is a wealth of tutorials on the internet walking you through making both butterflies and caterpillars. I have placed links to a few of these below. We made some very simple butterflies using the following materials:
- Cardboard tube
- Pipe cleaner
- Paint and pens
For more detailed tutorials check out these posts…
- Messy Little Monster – Handprint butterfly wings.
- DIY Thought – Watercolour wings.
- Look We’re Learning – Easy wings.
- Crafts U Print – Using string to link tubes.
- Momee Friends – Using tubes to print caterpillars.
- Tratatuha – Pencil holder design.
Here are some more caterpillar crafts that don’t use cardboard tubes:
- Mommy Made That – Uses pompoms to make a caterpillar.
- i Heart Crafty Things – Paper caterpillars that are easy to make.