Hungry Caterpillar Letter Sound Activity {Free Printable}

Inside: This printable hungry caterpillar letter sound activity is a fun way to practice beginning phonics. Incorporate this into your butterfly unit, or offer it after reading aloud The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

If your little ones adore Eric Carle’s classic book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar this might be the perfect activity for them. Just print off the free printable letter sound cards at the bottom of this post, and you’ll be ready to play.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is an excellent educational picture book because it teaches many different concepts. All in one book you have days of the week, colors, fruits, foods, and most importantly, the life cycle of a caterpillar.

If your children love the book (and who doesn’t?!), why not also use it as a hungry caterpillar letter sound activity?

Reinforcing the connection between letters and sounds is essential for children to practice. This is the foundation for early reading skills. Adding in a visual element like these cards helps kids consolidate their knowledge and reinforce their memory.

Materials & Preparation

I’ve created cards to match each letter of the alphabet. That way, the children can work on their letter recognition in an engaging way that is based on their interests.

There aren’t any extra materials needed for this activity. Simply print and cut the alphabet and picture cards out along the border, and the cards are ready! We all know how things are with kids, so I highly recommend laminating the cards so they last longer.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Letter Sound Activity

Start by reading the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Introduce each flashcard by pointing and asking children to repeat the sounds of the letters and names of the pictures.

You may like to begin by putting the cards into smaller groups. For example, start with A-E to make it simpler for children.

How to Play

Mix up the letter cards and the picture cards and set them up in rows. Take turns in flipping the cards over. The aim is to flip over the matching alphabet card to the correct picture. Younger children may need a little extra help. For instance, you may need to remind them to place the card back in the same place if their guess is incorrect!

You can use the butterfly cards as wildcards. They can mean “go again”, or you can have the children try to match butterflies.

The player who finds the most matches wins! Continue the game with the remainder of the alphabet.

This activity doesn’t necessarily need to be played as a game. It can also make an excellent observation and assessment tool to identify which letters children may exceed or struggle with.

Activity Simplification/Extension

You can simplify and extend this activity depending on children’s needs. Here are a few different variations:

  • To simplify, sound out each picture card for the children and ask them to repeat.
  • Use the cards in a Hungry Caterpillar dramatic play experience where they need to try to find their matching pair. Add props and costumes to make it fun! 
  • If you have a larger group of children, you can pass out one card to each child. Then, ask them to walk around and find the classmate with the matching card.
  • Hang all the picture cards up in the room. Give the child or children letter cards and ask them to find and point to the matching picture.
  • Create a forest-themed sensory tub with many leaves to connect with the story. Ask children to pick out different flashcards and identify the sound.

If the children enjoy this activity, you may also like to check out some of my other Hungry Caterpillar activities, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar Suncatcher Craft or this popular Hungry Caterpillar hole punching Activity!

Download the Cards

Ready for the free printable hungry caterpillar letter sound cards?

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    Happy Teaching,


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