Eric Carle Theme and Author Study for Preschoolers!
Eric Carle books are loved by preschoolers. The author’s illustrations and rhyme bring picture books to life for wonderful early literacy experiences in Preschool and Kindergarten. We hope your preschoolers enjoy this amazing collection of activities for your own Eric Carle Theme or Author Study in the classroom or at home.
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On 25 June 2017 we celebrate the birthday of Eric Carle! Born on 25 June 1929 in New York, Eric Carle is a beloved children’s author and illustrator. The Hungry Caterpillar, Carle’s most beloved book, is now published in over 50 languages and has sold over 33 million copies worldwide. Come play and learn with us through hands-on activities to accompany the book.
To begin your Eric Carle Author Study with Preschoolers:
- Show the children one of the books you’ve chosen to read (reminder that an author study doesn’t have to include every title, but at least two so children can compare and contrast). Say the name of the author several times and ask your preschoolers to say the author’s name back to you. Practice often so they become familiar with the author’s name over time.
- Look at the book’s cover (front and back). Ask the children what pictures they see on the cover that might help them predict what the story is about. Chart the predictions on a white board or piece of chart paper.
- Read the book to the children and ask the following questions when finished. What characters or animals in the book? What items are in the book? Where does the story take place? What happens at the beginning of the story? How did the story end? Which Eric Carle picture do you like best in the book?
- While the children may not know the answers after the very first reading, they will catch on as you re-read and look for characters, items, and the setting within the book. Repetition is key to all learning with preschoolers; the more opportunities they have to listen and look at the author’s books, the more learning sticks.
- Repeat the process above with the second or third book choices for your author study. Your preschoolers may already be recognizing similarities and differences between all of the Eric Carle books. Ask questions that guide preschoolers to carefully think about the similarities and differences in the books you’ve chosen. Note: other titles can be offered throughout the year to accompany reading centers or independent “reading” time. Remember, exposure is key. When we plant seeds of literacy in preschool and make it FUN, kids will begin to apply knowledge to future readings at home or in the classroom.
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Coin Identification Printable from JDaniel4’sMom
Caterpillar to Butterfly Craft from Mamasmiles
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Bin from The Preschool Toolbox
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Free Dot Mark Pack from Totschooling
Learning about Nutrition, Fine Motor, and Caterpillar Art from Babies to Bookworms
The Very Hungry Caterpillar MONEY Game from 123Homeschool4Me
The Very Hungry KINDERGARTENER from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes
Hole Punch Activity for The Very Hungry Caterpillar from Books and Giggles
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Free Number Book from 123Homeschool4Me
3D Butterfly Life Cycle from Wikki Stix
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Necklace Creation from Buggy and Buddy
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sponge-Painted Stamping from Buggy and Buddy
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Play Dough Counting Mats from My Bored Toddler
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cutting Strips from Welcome to Mommyhood
Process Art Caterpillar Craft from Days with Grey
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Threading Activity from Here Comes the Girls Blog
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Rap – Fun Song for Kids from Let’s Play Kids Music
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle!
Ladybug Free Color Matching Cards from The Preschool Toolbox
Fine Motor Ladybugs and Math Games Free Printable from Wikki Stix
Ladybug Dirt Cups Food Craft from Arts & Crackers
Ladybug Paper Plate Craft from Things to Share and Remember
Ladybug and Insects Thematic Unit for Preschool from The Preschool Toolbox
Ladybug Roll and Print Math Activity from The Preschool Toolbox
Outdoor Ladybug House Science from the book: 100 Backyard Activities by Colleen Kessler
Free Ladybug Printable for Upper or Lowercase Alphabet Stamping or Writing Practice – print here: Upper or Lower case ladybug letter writing bugs
The Grouchy Ladybug Craft from Buggy and Buddy
Preschool Playful Learning Activities for The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle!
Spider Type Printable Cards for Preschoolers from Kori at Home
SPIDERS! A Project-based lesson plan from Wikki Stix
Spider Web Science from Buggy and Buddy
Colored Glue Spider Webs from Homebound but Hopeful
Sticky-Eyed Spider Craft from Sunny Day Family
Spider Life Cycle Sequencing Cards from The Preschool Toolbox
Chalkboard Spider Web from Sunny Day Family
Not So Spooky Spider Sensory Bin from My Storytime Corner
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle!
Growing a Seed Story Time from My Storytime Corner
Parts of a Flower Play Dough Mat from The Preschool Toolbox
Nuts and Seeds Sensory Sound and Listening Games from The Preschool Toolbox
The Seeds We Eat Sensory Science from Teach Beside Me
Parts of a Flower from The Preschool Toolbox
Corn Life Cycle and Sequencing Cards from The Preschool Toolbox
Nutrition and Healthy Foods in Preschool from The Preschool Toolbox
The Tiny Seed – Flowers Like Eric Carle from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle!
Ocean and Ocean Animals Theme from The Preschool Toolbox
Paper Plate Crab Craft from No Time for Flash Cards
Crab Cupcake Liner Crafts from Wikki Stix
Movement and Puppets for A House for Hermit Crab from The Educator’s Spin on It
Ocean, Beach, and Shell Activities from The Preschool Toolbox
Build a House for Hermit Crab – a sensory small world play from Adventures and Play
A House for Hermit Crab – Preschool Imaginary Play Game from Line Upon Line Learning
Croissant Crabs – a FUN food craft to accompany A House for Hermit Crab
- Croissants (1 per child)
- Red Pepper Slices (six per child)
- Two Strawberries (per child)
- Toothpicks (two per child)
- Mozzarella Cheese Sticks (one stick will make 4 crabs)
- Black olive pieces (two per child)
- Strawberries (one per child)
- Plastic Knife (one per child)
- Have the children place the croissant on a plate.
- The children can tear the stem off of the strawberry and cut it in half with a plastic knife (assist younger children or pre-cut the strawberries prior to the activity.)
- Place one-half of the strawberry on each end of the croissant. *NOTE: the children may need to cut away a portion of the croissant for the strawberries to fit (depending on the size of the croissant and the strawberries that are used.)
- Have a bowl of pre-cut red pepper strips available for the children to use as the crab’s legs. The children can arrange the crab’s legs on each side of the croissant.
- To finish the crab, have the children insert two toothpicks in the croissant.
- On top of the toothpicks, have the children place a small piece of cheese and black olive for the crab’s eyes.
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany Polar Bear, Polar Bear and Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle!
Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?: Montessori-Inspired Activities to Accompany Brown Bear, Brown Bear from Living Montessori Now
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?: Polar Bear Math and Large Motor Game from The Preschool Toolbox
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany The Mixed-Up Chameleon and The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle!
Egg Carton Fireflies Craft from Life with Moore Babies
The Very Lonely Firefly by Buggy and Buddy
The Not-So-Lonely Firefly Craft from Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes
Paper Towel Roll Firefly Craft from Buggy and Buddy
The Mixed-Up Chameleon Free Felt Set Pattern from Buggy and Buddy
The Mixed-Up Chameleon Fine Motor and Math Game from Buggy and Buddy
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany Little Cloud by Eric Carle!
My Little Cloud – Blowing Clouds from JDaniel4’sMom
Puffy Paint Clouds from The Preschool Toolbox
Little Cloud Outdoor Play from Sun Hats and Wellie Boots
Preschool Playful Learning Activities to Accompany What’s Your Favorite Color by Eric Carle!
Color Mixing Explorations and Free Color Words and Color Cards from The Preschool Toolbox
What’s Your Favorite Color – free printable for color explorations from Playground Parkbench
Bumble Bee Free Printable Color Cards from The Preschool Toolbox
Read about ABC’s and Numbers with Eric Carle! If you’d like to know MORE about introducing the ABC’s and 123’s to preschoolers, see here!
Eric Carle Books for Your Theme and Author Study!
The Grouchy Ladybug
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Busy Spider
The Mixed-Up Chameleon Board Book
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
The Very Lonely Firefly board book
Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me (The World of Eric Carle)
Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (Brown Bear and Friends)
A House for Hermit Crab (The World of Eric Carle)
The Tiny Seed (The World of Eric Carle)
Little Cloud board book
What’s Your Favorite Color?
I See a Song (Blue Ribbon Book)
Eric Carle’s ABC (The World of Eric Carle)
Eric Carle’s 123 (The World of Eric Carle)