The Very Hungry Caterpillar 50th Anniversary Celebration
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar! Party at the library!
I'd seen this idea all over the place, and it was easy enough to pull off. Two dozen cupcakes iced in two different shades of green. For the caterpillar's face, I printed out a picture of the eyes, nose, and antennae that would be an appropriate size for my 5-inch red two-layer cake. Once printed, I cut them out and hot glued them to parchment paper before placing on the cake. For the antennae, I also hot glued a tooth pick to the back and stuck them in the side of the cake. I removed all of these before slicing the cake.
We had six different activity stations. On the projector, we had a loop of The Very Hungry Caterpillar animated video and a video of Eric Carle reading the book.
Hole Punch Practice was a free printable from Books and Giggles. All I had to do was print, cut into strips, and round up some hole punchers and crayons.
We also made Caterpillar Crowns, an idea from Libraryland (there's a template there too!).
I precut all shapes, so all the kids had to do was assemble and decorate.
Another station was The Very Hungry Caterpillar Memory Game, which was a free printable from Playdough to Plato. I printed two sets on cardstock for our activity table.
We also purchased these Very Hungry Caterpillar magic scratch art ornaments from Oriental Trading. I don't think these particular ones are available anymore, but they always have fun Eric Carle stuff.
There was a choice of skinny caterpillars, fat caterpillars, or butterflies.
I counted days and crossed my fingers that the caterpillars we ordered from Insect Lore (which I've used with my Story Time kids the past 3 weeks) would be butterflies in time for our party AND THEY CAME RIGHT ON TIME! Five of them came out of their cocoons the day before and the last one came that morning. I was so thrilled! So, we were able to have a Butterfly Viewing Station at the party as well. Also: I've been told you can get the same Eric Carle butterfly kit from Amazon for a little cheaper.
We also had a Caterpillar Putt-Putt game, which we made ourselves. We already had the mini golf club and foam golf ball from our Mini Golf at the Library event.
We used the library poster printer to print a picture of the caterpillar to use as a stencil, then cut the shape in 1/2-in plywood. Then I drew out the caterpillar with a pencil and painted him.
Here's a shot of the back. We attached a scrap piece of the board with hinges. It supports it fine and makes it a little easier to store. Anyway, back to the party....
Just last month I discovered you could hot glue balloons together if you used a low-temp glue gun (see my Up bulletin board) so I created this Very Hungry Caterpillar with balloons.
This was so easy that I'm excited to see what else I can make with balloons and a low-temp hot glue gun. I used some bulletin board paper to make a template for my caterpillar shape. Then I just started gluing together two different shades of green balloons, following the template as my guide (but not gluing them to the paper!).
I used a bag of 25 lime 12-inch latex balloons, a bag of 25 holiday green 12-inch latex balloon, and 1 red 17-inch red balloon, all purchased from Wal-Mart (the 17-inch red balloon was in a bag with a yellow and blue balloon).
Once I had a good shape, I propped the body against the wall and filled in any gaps with more balloons. Then I added the red head. The eyes, nose, and antennae are all construction paper or cardstock that I hot glued on. I had purchased twisty balloons to use for the purple antennae but totally forgot about them until it was too late! Oh, well.
I actually did this the day before the event, and it held up fine. I can't say how long it lasted after the event, because I took it to my niece and nephew and they popped it soon thereafter.
On the table with our balloon art was The Very Hungry Caterpillar treat boxes, which were purchased from Oriental Trading.
Inside was a Very Hungry Caterpillar bouncy ball, bubbles, tattoo, and sticker, all purchased from Oriental Trading. And I printed some mini coloring pages to put inside as well.
And finally, I used our poster printer to print this Butterfly Photo Op that kids could stand in front of to give themselves wings.
A few more things I considered but ran out of time and/or room for were: making a curtain for the door that resembled the Eric Carle circles in the front and back of the book; this Very Hungry Caterpillar necklace from Buggy and Buddy; and Feed the Hungry Caterpillar game.
See also The Very Hungry Caterpillar Bulletin Board with paper lanterns.