The Get-to-Know Me Caterpillar craft is an easily adaptable twist on the traditional back-to-school craft. Arts and crafts are a great way to promote creativity, imagination, and social-emotional skills. The tracing and cutting skills required to do the craft are a great exercise of students' fine motor skills and provide you with a fun way to assess children during the first few days of school. This activity is also a fun ice breaker and can be a great method for children to get to know their teacher as well as each other.
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- Green construction paper
- White construction paper
- Yellow construction paper
- Crayons or colored pencils
- Glue sticks
- Wiggly eyes
- Wonderfoam sheets (Optional)
Make 5 green circle flaps for the caterpillar's body, 1 green circle for the caterpillar's head, and 5 smaller white circles to write on.
Give each child two pieces of green construction paper. Ask them to fold each paper in half lengthwise. Ask children to trace Circle B five times (three on one paper and two on the other) on the side with the fold. Make sure the top of each Circle B is aligned with the fold. These five circles will create flaps when they're cut out. Trace Circle A one time on a piece of green paper. Give each child a piece of white construction paper or card stock. Ask the children to trace Circle C five times. These will be the circles children write and draw on.
Ask children to cut out all the flaps and circles. When children are cutting out the flaps, make sure their paper is still folded, so they don't accidentally cut out only one side of the flap. After everything is cut out, they should have five green flaps for the body of the caterpillar, one green circle for the head of the caterpillar, and five smaller white circles to draw and write on.
Use the five get–to–know–me questions from the list below or come up with your own to ask children. On the smaller white circles, have children draw or write something to represent their answer for each question.
Five examples of "get–to–know–me questions:
- What is your favorite animal?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- How old are you?
- What is your favorite food?
- Would you rather play outside or inside?
Add wiggly eyes (go ahead and glue them down) and a mouth on the green circle to make the caterpillar's face. Write the questions you asked on each child's green flaps. Make sure you write it on the outer flap. If developmentally appropriate, the children can write the questions instead. You don't have to write the whole question; just write "Favorite Animal" or "My Age" instead.
Have children glue each white circle onto the inside of the corresponding green circle flap to form the body of the caterpillar. Give each child a piece of 9" x 12" yellow construction paper. Have children lay out the face and body circles of the caterpillar to determine placement and then glue all of that down. Encourage children to add antennae and any other features they want their caterpillar to have. Depending on the placement of the caterpillar, you may want to trim off any excess paper at the bottom. Have children write their name somewhere on the yellow paper.
Invite each child to tell you and their classmates about their caterpillar. Display the caterpillars on a bulletin board in the classroom.
Adapt the Craft for Different Age Groups
Infants and Toddlers: Use the Get–to–Know–Me Caterpillar craft as a way to engage with families. Create the school-age or preschool version of the caterpillar craft for each of the infants and toddlers in your care. For this family engagement activity, keep in mind that the get-to-know-you questions you ask families may need to be more about the infant's birth and how he/she has grown.
Preschoolers: Children may not have the fine motor skills needed to trace and cut out the flaps. You can create a version without the flaps or you can complete the craft and have children fill it in with their answers