Friday, September 26, 2014

Our Adventures with The Very Hungry Caterpillar

I've been trying to get a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar board book ever since I learned about the book; but only paperback editions or small board books were available whenever I was in the book stores to check its availability. One time, when a big board book was on stock, I hesitated when I found out about the price. I thought of waiting for a sale before buying a big board book for my kids.
Then, announcements were made about the dates for the 35th Manila International Book Fair. I checked one of the local bookstores (Fully Booked) where I know this book is being sold. I checked the available stocks and their prices. I took note of the versions that I'm most interested to get for the boys. I also hoped and prayed that the book would be on sale during the fair.
I included Fully Booked as one of our priority booths to visit this year during the MIBF. I'm glad we did check this book out during the fair! Although the big board book was not available at their booth when we visited, a staff offered to check the availability of stocks from the Fully Booked branch in Mall of Asia. The great news is that a big board book was available and it included an audio cd of the story (read by the author himself). The regular price for the board book that we got was P640. But it was also part of the sale so we got the book at 20% discount! I was so happy! As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait! I'm thankful that their staff went the extra mile by getting in touch with the nearby branch so we could still purchase our desired book at the size that I wanted.

You can read more about our MIBF experience here.
The boys and I wasted no time in enjoying our new book. We read it the following day after we bought our copy. We also listened to the author tell the story. Then we did some activities as we reread the story in the days that followed.
If you have small kids, you might want to try the same activities that I did with my boys. They surely made our storytelling sessions more fun!
The first part of our activity was hand-painting cut-outs of what the caterpillar ate in the story.
1. First, I drew the food that the caterpillar ate on a white board using a pencil. 
2. Second, I cut them using a pair of scissors.
3. Third, I guided the boys in painting the cut-outs using their fingers. We also mixed some paints to get the colors we needed. To make our painting activity less messy, we covered our dining table with used paper and had wet wipes and rags close by.


4. After painting all the cut-outs, we air-dried them while the boys took their naps. I also added some details on the cut-outs using a black sign pen when they were already dry.
5. As soon as the boys woke up, we read the story again. This time, we used our painted cut-outs. I handed the boys a puncher. I told them that as the caterpillar eats something in the story, they will take turns punching holes on the cut-outs. The boys enjoyed doing this! What they did was punch a hole on the food cut-outs that they themselves painted. They were proud of their work!

We had the second part of our activity the next day.
6. The following day, since my mom visited us, we asked her to make a caterpillar for us using a green yarn, which we planned to use in lacing/threading the hand-painted cut-outs.
7. We read the book again. This time, the boys were excited to thread the cut-outs using the crocheted green yarn that my mom made. Again, they took turns lacing/threading cut-outs that they themselves painted. The boys proudly showed their grandma the cut-outs that they painted.

8. After our storytelling activity using our new props, I tied the ends of the green yarn to secure the cut-outs and prevent them from getting lost.

9. Lastly, my boys sang a caterpillar song. They spelled the letters in the word BUTTERFLY by singing it. So, now even my 2-year-old knows how to spell BUTTERFLY!
My plan is make two more caterpillars using different materials next time -- one would be small while the other one is big. Watch out for our next adventures with the very hungry caterpillar!
Have you done some activities with your kids that were inspired by this book? Feel free to share it in the comments. Would love to learn from you, too.

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