The Very Hungry Caterpillar handprint art

The Very Hungry Caterpillar handprint art

The simple colourful illustrations from Eric Carle's classic children's book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, are the perfect inspiration for some good old-fashioned handprint art. How many other things from the book can you make with your handprints?

What you need:

  • 1 x A2 sheet of cardboard or paper
  • paints
  • paintbrushes
  • A4 sheet of orange construction paper
  • craft glue
  • a large bucket of soapy water (for cleaning up)
  • an old towel (same as above)

Number of players:



Start by reading the picture book with your child. 

Now create your own Very Hungry Caterpillar using just handprints.

Find an area outside or lay down lots of sheets of newspaper or a drop sheet before you begin. This gets messy! 

The best way to make handprints is to paint the palms of your hands and then press your handprints onto the paper. 

For the caterpillar's body, paint your palm green and your fingers blue (his legs).

Make four handprints in a row for the body. Paint in a red head and give him a face. Use your pointer finger dipped in black paint to make two antennae.

Now add some things to your scene. We added a sun (handprints rotated around in a circle) and a butterfly, made using three handprints for each wing and a body cut out of construction paper and stuck in the centre.

We also added, 'grass' using the top half of a palm and all the fingers painted green.

Hints and tips:

  • You can google 'handprint art' to get more inspiration for birds and flowers made out of handprints and footprints.
  • You can also make a butterfly out of two footprints.
  • See what else is in the book that you can put in the scene: use fingerprints for smaller things like grapes and plums.
  • Buy some craft googly eyes and stick them on to your artwork to make some funny faces!
  • Thanks to our sister company Kidspot Australia for creating the instructional video.

More Very Hungry Caterpillar crafts on Kidspot:

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