Paper Plate Caterpillars

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By In The Playroom

Paper Plate crafts are definitely one of our favourite types of craft. They are so simple, using supplies from around the home, and the end results can look really effective.

These paper plate caterpillars are super cute, and will be perfect for spring time when the kids start to spend lots of time in the garden, or for studying a mini beasts topic with your preschooler. 

Kids love to learn about new things and caterpillars are a fun and exciting topic. The way in which they transform into butterflies is so mesmerising, it is like magic to children.

Introducing this topic is a great way to stimulate children’s curiosity about the world

You could of course decorate your paper plate caterpillars just like everyone’s favourite caterpillar, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. My younger kids can’t get enough of that book – it is an absolute classic. 

Paper plate caterpillars craft for kids. These would be great for Spring time or for a minibeasts topic

Materials for Paper Plate Caterpillars

All you’ll need to make this easy paper plate caterpillar craft is:

  • Paper Plate (unwaxed) – one plate makes two caterpillars
  • Coloured Markers
  • A Selection of Pipe Cleaners
  • Glue – Either pva glue or a glue stick will work equally well. 

Optional extras – add any extra supplies you have to hand – glitter, pom poms, sequins, buttons – let the kids get really creative with their caterpillars!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book (if you want to tie in the craft with that) – we have this really large edition that comes with a small soft caterpillar and the kids love its big size.

supplies for paper plate caterpillars

Instructions: How to make Paper Plate Caterpillars with kids

Cut the paper plate in half. Then, cut out the middle circle away from the bordered edge, like in the photo below


Use the circle piece for the head of the caterpillar. It will need to be trimmed down to a smaller size to fit.

paper plate caterpillar head

For younger toddlers, you may need to pre-cut these pieces ready for them to stick and colour. For older preschoolers, they may be ready to try cutting and practise their scissor skills. Cutting and handling scissors is a great work out for their little hand muscles, building up all of their fine motor skills ready for learning how to write.

Have the children color the border piece (which will become the caterpillar body). Get creative, color
them in a variety of designs! We did stripes on one of ours!

paper plate caterpillars

Use different coloured markers to draw faces, or if you have googly eyes on hand you can use those.

Cut a pipe cleaner to length, curl it with your finger to make them look like bent antennae.

Attach these pipe cleaners to the back of the head with glue. Allow the craft to dry.

paper plate caterpillars

Don’t they look so cute and adorable?

For a The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, try making some fruit and vegetable crafts for your child to use alongside their new paper plate caterpillar to act out the story. This bubble wrap printed fruit and vegetables craft will work perfectly for this activity. 

Or color in these cute caterpillar coloring pages

More Paper Plate Animals

Have fun making even more paper plate animals, from more mini beasts and creepy crawlies up to the largest animals like big whales. Why not make a whole collection? 

Paper Plate Ladybug

Paper Plate Puffin

Paper Plate Sheep

Paper Plate Whale

Paper Plate Fish

Two Headed Paper Plate Snake Craft to go with Eric Carle’s The Nonsense Show (author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

Paper Plate Handprint Spider and Web

For even more simple and fun kids crafts ideas, go ahead and follow our board on Pinterest

Follow Anna – In The Playroom’s board kids Ideas and activities on Pinterest.

And don’t forget to pin this idea for later or share with your friends on Facebook

Need a Butterfly craft to go along with the Caterpillar craft?

Try one of these easy butterfly craft ideas for kids. This will allow you to learn about the lifecycle of the caterpillar, into a butterfly, to cover the entire topic with hands on crafts. 

child with a butterfly

Easy Colorful Coffee Filter Butterfly Craft

Free Printable Butterfly Colouring Pages

Tissue Paper Butterfly Craft

Junk Modelling Butterfly Craft

Have fun – Happy learning and crafting!

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Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.

11 thoughts on “Paper Plate Caterpillars”

  1.   Think spring is far away?  It’s not.  In fact, March is here and March is the month for caterpillars. Our favorite way to learn about them is to make a bunch of paper plate caterpillars. It’s a great activity to do with toddler and preschool aged kids because it’s easy and they can take their caterpillars home afterwards.
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