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Felt Stories: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Before I became a parent, I have never heard of Eric Carle, or known about his millions of adoring fans. Over and over, I kept hearing about how fantastic his books are, in particular, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar". Around the time my son was around 10 months old, I finally went to the library and borrowed The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Cue my adoration for Eric Carle.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and all the fruits he ate

The vibrant characters in his stories, the rhythmic words and the simplicity he uses to teach fundamental skills to young children are a few of the reasons why myself and many others love his books. Rightfully so, his books have been around since 1965 and The Very Hungry Caterpillar has been around since 1969. Where have I been?

Yes, I have become one of THOSE Eric Carle fans. Then I recalled seeing a felt board story at Strong Start (a program for children aged birth to five in a school-based environment which includes stories, music and art) and loved the interactive aspect of the felt story board. What better way to tell stories than with a felt board?

The sun, the moon, the leaf and the cocoon

I was still fairly new to Pinterest (more about my addiction to Pinterest later) when I stumbled upon Stephanie of Imagine Our Life's pin for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She has very graciously provided the template to create your own The Very Hungry Caterpillar felt story. If you would like the PDF template, please follow this link to her page and leave a comment on her blog's comment form with your email address. She will email you the PDF template within a few days. Please note that she has generously donated her own PDF outline, therefore, please enjoy it for your own personal use.

On Saturday, The Very Hungry Caterpillar ate all of this!
Based on her template, I sketched my design onto the back of cereal boxes, labelled each piece, cut them out and traced the cardboard templates onto felt. Then I cut out each piece of felt and glued them together using craft glue and a glue gun (for the more stubborn pieces that would not hold together). I omitted the embroidery that you see in Stephanie's felt story. One step at a time for this (not so) young grasshopper.

The beauty of Stephanie's template is that it broke down a very complex task into easy manageable steps for the felt board newbie and each outline is color coded so you know which color of felt fabric you need to buy.

Caterpillar template
Butterfly template

Food template

The result? My son and I both love it! We've read the book many times and have used the felt story board to bring the story to life. After reading this story many times, I realized why I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar so much; he and I share a passion for eating!

And he became a beautiful butterfly!

  • Buying felt: Compare prices between fabric stores, department stores and dollar stores. The ones at the dollar stores and department stores (ie. Walmart) are pre-cut to 8.5 x 11 versus the random sizes (usually 6 x 6) you would get at the fabric stores. The fabric stores carry a better selection of unique colors, however, it is a hit or miss. I have purchased felt fabric as low as $0.33/each (for 8.5" x 11") up to $0.50/each (for 6" x 6").
  • Cutting felt: Use fabric scissors (aka scissors dedicated to cutting fabric only). This is because the paper fibers dull the scissors. I bought my scissors for $1.50 at the dollar store.
  • Glue: I used a craft glue from the dollar store for $1.50 which is suitable for fabric. Because of the many layers of felt that are glued together for the butterfly, you should consider either using a glue gun or use embroidery floss to sew all the pieces together.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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