top of page

a summer fave... a caterpillar garden!

Monday, June 17, 2024


Did you know that this past Saturday, June 15, was

NATIONAL SMILE DAY?

Well, we sure did!

Our grandkids - our sweet Littles - make us smile every day!

Something that makes Laura’s granddaughter, Little L, smile

is when she hears one of her favorite stories,

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle!

It has been one of her favorites for more than a year!

These days, Little L knows the story so well that she recites it to us!

What joy for this retired kindergarten teacher

to hear her “read” to me!


A Grand Tip!

Did you know that memorizing text and reciting it

is one of the first steps to becoming a good reader?

That's why reading... and rereading the same book over and over again

with young Littles is SO important!

❤️ ❤️ ❤️


With that knowledge in mind,

I pulled a project out of my old Summer School files

and adapted it for Little L and I to make together!

It’s a Summer Fave!

In last Thursday’s post, we shared three of our favorite gardening activities

to do with the Littles in our lives.

Today, we’ve got one more for you

and then a few related suggestions for added fun!


On a recent visit,  Laura and Little L 

planted our Caterpillar Garden, full of herb seeds!

SURPRISE! 

We planted our seeds in eggshells!

MATERIALS NEEDED

• an empty egg carton

• 4-6 eggs (white or brown will work)

• soil

• 3-4 kinds of seeds (we chose herb seeds)

• a spray bottle

• a black permanent marker

• two googly eyes (optional) & one pipe cleaner

You may notice in today’s photos that our dear Little L

is wearing her Ella nightgown once again!

It is definitely a fave these days!


DIRECTIONS

1. Before you and your Little plant your caterpillar garden, you’ll need to do a bit of prep.  

 Break the eggs near one end (as shown in the photo below) and pour the yolk and egg whites from each into a container to be saved and used at another time.

 Place the prepared egg shells into one side of an empty egg carton.

 Use a black permanent marker to draw three legs under each egg on the egg carton (as shown in the photo below).

 Add two googly eyes to the first egg shell - we had self adhesive ones or you can glue them on (or you can draw two eyes onto the egg shell, using a permanent marker).

2. Now that you’ve prepped the caterpillar, fill each egg shell ⅔ full with soil.  If the soil is very dry, spray some water in each egg shell to moisten the soil.

3. Plant one kind of seed in each egg shell - we used parsley, oregano, rosemary and cilantro (we planted parsley and cilantro in two egg shells, each).  Little L planted about 6-10 seeds in each shell!  We had fun noticing how some seeds were big while others were tiny!  

4. Use a spray bottle to water each egg carton of seeds!  Place your caterpillar garden in a sunny spot - a window sill works well!  Now it’s time to practice patience!

After a week or so, your plants will begin to sprout and,

 within a few weeks, your Little will love how the garden is growing!

Your Littles will embrace the responsibility of watering their gardens regularly

and once the plants have grown a bit

they can easily be transplanted into a pot or a raised garden.

Simply dig a hole, break the egg shell slightly

(to allow the roots to expand)

and plant the entire thing!

Your Little will be surprised to learn that the eggshell actually provides food for the soil!



Last year Little L and I had fun doing a variety of activities

related to her favorite story!

She was 18 months old at the time.

We captured the fun on an Instagram and Facebook story!.

They are definitely faves of ours and we think you and your Littles

will love these simple activities, too!


A Caterpillar Crown!

Older Littles will be able to make their own crowns if you provide the needed materials and help them adjust the size of the crown to their heads!


Begin by cutting out strips of green construction paper and then measuring out the needed length to fit around your Little’s head.  Tape or staple the ends together.  Then decorate as you’d like, adding eyes and antennae!  How cute does Little L look as The Hungry Caterpillar?!?

Feed the Caterpillar!

To make our giant caterpillar head, I glued a large red construction paper circle to the front of a brown paper bag.  I then cut a hole through the red paper and the bag to make the caterpillar’s mouth.  Finally, I added eyes and antennae to look like The Hungry Caterpillar!

I brought my well loved bag of pom poms with me.  At first, Little L just had fun putting the pom poms in the caterpillars mouth to feed it!  Later, after she’d had fun playing, we retold the story and added the color/number of pom poms for each part of the story!  (i.e. 1 red pom pom/apple, 2 green pom poms/pears, 3 purple pom poms/plums and so on.) 


Caterpillars on Leaves!

Last year, one of Little L’s favorite activities was putting pom poms in an ice cube tray and then dumping them out.  She did this over and over and, as a Grand, it was easy for me to set this up to do during our visits together!

To build upon that interest, we tried this project that kept her equally entertained!   I cut out leaves from green construction paper and then Little L kept busy adding pom poms to make colorful caterpillars.  It even kept her engaged while I made dinner! 

This year we revisited the activity when we made short caterpillars and long caterpillars, blue caterpillars and rainbow caterpillars… you get the idea!  Whenever we are done, we simply put the leaves and pom poms in a Ziploc bag and they were all set for another time!


A Paper Plate Caterpillar!

This was one of the first craft projects I ever did with  Little L!  I cut a “C” shape out of a paper plate and added a round red face at one end.  We used a glue stick (I helped Little L as a toddler) to make a line of glue about 4 inches long and then she added pom poms to the glue.  When she had covered the area we had glued, we added to the line of glue and she continued to add pom poms.  We did this 2-3 times until the entire “C” had been turned into a caterpillar!

A Grand Tip!

If your Little is old enough to be learning letter sounds,

this is a great project for introducing the /c/ sound as in caterpillar!


A Paper Chain Caterpillar!

This was our favorite of the projects we did together and older Littles, with a bit of guidance could do this with minimal help!  You’ll need strips of green construction paper to make the paper chain.  Make your caterpillar as short or as long as you’d like.  Then use other colors of construction paper to add more details to your caterpillar.  

Littles of all ages can have fun with this project!  

Even infants and young toddlers will be intrigued 

if you make the project for them and then pull it along 

as your Little watches or crawls behind!  

As we mentioned earlier in this post,

Littles - infants through school age - love the story of The Hungry Caterpillar

and we're confident that they'd love the above activities, too!


In fact, wouldn’t this be the perfect theme 

for a special Little’s birthday party?

Oh boy, we get excited just thinking about the possibilities!!

As always, we’d love to hear from you!

So many of you have GRAND wisdom and we appreciate your ideas so much!

We welcome your comments at the end of this post

or you can always reach out to us at ourgrandlives@gmail.com if you prefer!


Look for us to share more gardening updates in future posts

as well as on social media...

you can always find us on  InstagramFacebook and Pinterest, too!!


We’ll be back on Thursday with our second theme of the summer,

Discovery Time!


In the meantime,

we’ll leave you with this quote to ponder!




SPECIAL THANKS TO

Senior Salon Pit Stop from Scratch Made Food

Thursday Favorite Things from An Artful Mom

Thank you for featuring this post on your sites!

❤ We love our blogging community! ❤


❤️ We are delighted to join the following link up parties and blog hops! ❤️

MONTHLY

SUNDAY

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY




14 Comments


Paula Short
Paula Short
4 days ago

This is precious. And genius! Egg shells, who knew? Lol, you guys did.

Thanks' bunches for sharing with Sweet Tea & Friend's June link-up.

Like
Our Grand Lives
2 days ago
Replying to

Thanks, Paula! We appreciate you!

- 💕 Laura

Like

Guest
Jul 05

I used to love doing activites like this when I was teaching. i really should do them with the grandchildren.


Thanks for sharing with #pocolo

Like
Guest
Jul 05
Replying to

oops....its chickenruby

Like

Guest
Jun 29

That is so cute! I'm very much a (so-called) grown-up, but still love The Hungry Caterpillar. I think it would make a fabulous birthday theme. Maybe throw in a few butterflies here and there to make the connection? Cat https://catswire.blogspot.com/

Like
Our Grand Lives
Jul 01
Replying to

I love the butterfly addition, too! When I taught kindergarten, this was the story we shared at Round Up each spring. The kids would read the story as they walked down the hallway to the kindergarten rooms (they'd stop and read a page that had been enlarged and were spaced down the hallway). Right before they and their parents arrived at the kindergarten wing, a giant butterfly balloon would greet them! It was a perfect intro to kindergarten! Thanks so much for stopping by! - 💕 Laura

Like

Guest
Jun 26

My girls just loved this book when they were toddlers. In fact, we still have it; we decided to save it. These are all fun activities! Thank you for sharing with us at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #43.

Steph@CrazyLittleLovebirds

Like
Our Grand Lives
Jun 27
Replying to

It's a classic, isn't it? Some day you may even find yourself pulling that book out to share with a new generation of Littles! Such sweet memories! - 💕 Laura

Like

Guest
Jun 23

This is one of our favorite books around here! This is one of my features for this week's SSPS, thank you for sharing with us, we appreciate it. Melynda @scratchmadefood!

Like
Our Grand Lives
Jun 24
Replying to

It's such a fun story to share with our Littles, isn't it? Thank you so much for featuring our post at SSPS this week, Melynda! We're thrilled! - 💕 Laura

Like
bottom of page