Hole Punching Hungry Caterpillar Activity {Free Printable}

This easy-prep fine motor activity goes with Eric Carle’s classic children’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity - a fun way for preschoolers to practice fine motor and pre-reading skills.

(Disclosure: Books and Giggles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post may also include additional affiliate links.)

I ought to be tired of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (affiliate) by now, but I’m not. With three kids, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it. Hundreds, surely.

Yet, I still love it. Do you?

I also should be well past any excitement about hole punches, yet I still feel strangely satisfied using one. Is that weird?


The Very Hungry Caterpillar Hole Punching Activity

My kids share my inclination to make small holes in paper. The twins were eager to test out this Hungry Caterpillar activity.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity - a fun way for preschoolers to practice fine motor and pre-reading skills.

Isabella punched every item, and then went back and punched some of them again. I like that our hole punch has a good finger guard, so I don’t feel like I have to monitor her too closely with it.

Did you know that Eric Carle got the idea for The Very Hungry Caterpillar while using a hole punch? According to Wikipedia, he originally planned a book about a bookworm, rather than a caterpillar!

I can’t imagine the story without the beautiful butterfly at the end.

RELATED: Free Printable Butterfly Journal


Pre-Reading and Fine Motor Skills in a Hungry Caterpillar Activity

The free printable hole punching strips are easy to use. Just cut them on the dotted lines, color the food items, and hole punch each one in the order that they appear in the story. You can guide the child to work from left to right as a subtle pre-reading lesson. You can also encourage them to retell the story as they punch the holes.

They’ll be too busy having fun to notice that they’re working on fine motor skills and pre-reading skills.

How to Download

Grab your copy by filling in the little form below. You’ll receive an email with a link to it, and then another email inviting you to subscribe to my weekly-ish newsletter if you like. I hope you like!


Are You Working on Letters Too?

I recently learned that letter knowledge is the strongest predictor of first year reading achievement. And then, it continues to be an important factor through at least seventh grade. So teaching the alphabet is one of the most important ways to set young children on the road to reading success.

If you’d like creative, multi-sensory, and developmentally appropriate activities for helping children learn their letters, you might like to pick up 101 Ways to Teach the Alphabet (affiliate). In addition to all the fun activity ideas, it also answers your burning questions about teaching the alphabet, such as…

  • What should my child know about letters at different ages?
  • Do I teach letter names or letter sounds first?
  • Do I teach uppercase letters or lowercase letters first?
  • In what order should I teach the letters?
  • How many letters should I introduce at one time?
  • What letter style should I teach first: print, D’Nealian, or cursive?
  • How do I teach letters that make more than one sound?


I’ve had a sneak preview of the book, and I highly recommend it for parents, teachers, and caregivers working with children who are learning to identify letter shapes, names, and sounds as well as to write letters and match uppercase and lowercase letters. You can get more details HERE.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity - a fun way for preschoolers to practice fine motor and pre-reading skills.


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