Like any good American children, my kiddos love Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Without planning it, I set out both a toy and a puzzle based on the book during my most recent toy rotation. Once I realized I had done that, I also set out the actual book in the playroom book basket. All this, of course, created a fresh new interest in that ravenous insect. So, it was time for a Caterpillar lunch.
Drama Queen and I worked together to get the fruits prepared. As we washed and counted, we had the book open on the counter and recited each page as we worked with the coordinating fruit.
At lunchtime, I set out all the fruits that our caterpillar friend eats through each day. I did somehow make it home from the store with only one pear, so I set up a little mirror to give the illusion of two pears. 🙂 I read the book aloud, allowing them to count the fruits in front of them, then they were eager to dig in.
Drama Queen had her first taste of a plum, and quickly devoured every bit of it that she could.
Mr. BANG ate part of every fruit other than the plum. Here he was gnawing on an apple.
They loved getting to eat “caterpillar food” so much, that they barely touched the rest of their lunch!
I think a big part of what made this meal exciting to them, other than the obvious story connection, was having ALL those fruits available to them. I usually give them one or two types of fruit at each meal, and put the slices or segments directly on their plates. This time there were no slices – just whole fruits or large sections. And, of course, the freedom to choose from the assortment is a great thrill for them! 🙂