Hole Punching Hungry Caterpillar Activity {Free Printable}

Inside: This Very Hungry Caterpillar activity for preschoolers provides fine motor skill and story retelling practice to go along with Eric Carle’s classic children’s book.

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

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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

Printable 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.

Download the Free Printable

Ready for the free hole-punching strips to use after reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar?

To get your very own copy, you can sign up right here:

I’ll add you to my weekly-ish newsletter too – it’s full of ideas and more free printables. Of course, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Crafts & Activities

Update: We now have an entire post full of hole punching activities!

Want another spring craft that uses a hole punch? Try this fun rain craft!

rain craft with hole punched rain, a puddle, cotton ball clouds, and a cutout photo of a girl holding an umbrella

You might also like our Hungry Caterpillar suncatcher craft. You’ll never guess what we made this out of!

kids craft suncatcher caterpillar with a green body and red head

Are You Working on Letters Too?

If you’re starting to work on letter recognition, you might love this complete set of hands-on hole punching letter worksheets in my own little store (or if you prefer it’s also available on Teachers Pay Teachers.)

hole punching abc preschool activities

You Might Also Like: Dive Into Literacy

Do you want to prepare your preschoolers for kindergarten?

Or, help your kindergarteners review foundational concepts?

This huge bundle of engaging and educational activities will keep your kids learning this summer and throughout the year.

Click on the picture below to learn more about Dive Into Literacy!

Dive into Literacy collage

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


  1. We are painting with different stamping methods to make caterpillars that look like the one in the book.

    1. I just tested it, and it worked for me. Maybe check your spam/bulk folder? Let me know if you continue to have trouble.

  2. I have made an apron for felt story telling and at the bottom it opens up to be a beautiful butterfly. The children will have access to felt story telling pieces in the library center.

    1. Wow! That sounds like an amazing way to share The Very Hungry Caterpillar! There are so many creative ways to extend the story, which I guess is part of what’s made it so popular with teachers and librarians.

    1. Fill in the little box with your name and email address, then click the white “download now” button, and a link will be sent to you. You also will get an email inviting you to subscribe to my newsletter – totally optional (but I like to send out freebies πŸ™‚ )

    1. It’s the little form to fill out in the section titled “Pre-Reading and Fine Motor Skills in a Hungry Caterpillar Activity”

    1. I’m glad you love it πŸ™‚ Here’s what you do: Look in the section titled β€œPre-Reading and Fine Motor Skills in a Hungry Caterpillar Activity.” Scroll past the images there. Before you get to the next sub-heading you’ll see a couple little boxes for you to fill in with your name and email address, then click the white β€œdownload now” button. Once you do that a link will be sent to you via that email address. You’ll also receive an email inviting you to subscribe to my weekly-ish newsletter – which is totally optional, but I do send out lot of freebies πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you for such a wonderful activity. I will be doing the caterpillar activity with my kindergarten class.

    1. Please read the above comments if you’re having trouble. There’s also info info in the post itself now. Make sure you check your spam folder – that seems to be the most common hiccup. Hope your kiddos have fun with it πŸ™‚

  4. looking forward to receiving the hole punching activity. I work with a preschool garden site and will read the Very Hungry Caterpillar first and to the punching afterwards

  5. Although, my 3 “babies” now range from 17-24 years of age, I still vividly remembering how much we all enjoyed reading this book. Adding the related motor skills activity of punching holes would have made my kids over-the-moon happy. I wonder if I can talk them into reprising the book and now the punch activity this Thanksgiving when we’re all together? πŸ˜‰

  6. This looks like a super fun activity! My 4-year-old loves when I read him the Hungry Caterpillar, so I’m excited to do this craft with him!

  7. Heather, I love your VHC Hole punch activity. I’ve used it with my OT students since I found it a couple years ago. In light of remote learning, I’ve been posting videos to YouTube. I’d like to post a video of me showing parents /students how to do this task. I would include your link in the description of course! May I make the video and post it? Thank you for your consideration.

    1. Hi Amy,
      I’m happy to hear that you’ve been using it with your students every year! Yes, as long as you include a link you’re welcome to share it with them that way. Thanks for asking.

  8. Preschoolers love using hole punches. Fun activity to accompany The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

  9. I’m just getting back into teaching 4’s after quite a long break.
    Thank you for this…it fits perfectly into my Literacy month with
    TVHC taking up a full week. I’ll be sure to bring back when we do ‘creepy crawlies’ in the Spring. Something this perfect needs to be used again and again.
    Thanks again!!

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