The Very Hungry Caterpillar Counting Game

Eric Carle's selection of children's books are the perfect compliment to your spring botany/gardening unit. Through colorful pictures and catching prose, your preschoolers will learn about the many insects one might find in the garden and about their life cycle. One popular book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, introduces your kiddos to the life cycle of the butterfly while helping them review popular fruits! Based on the book, Lightening Bug Literacy put together this fun counting game that will boost numeral recognition, strengthen visual discrimination, and give your students practice with matching and sorting.

To Play

Print the dice templates {both numbers and fruits}, cutting them out and assembling them for play. For durability, you might consider laminating the dice printouts before putting them together or even cutting out the images, pasting them to the sides of a recycled tissue box, and covering them with clear contact paper. Print and laminate the fruit cards as well.

To play, students roll both dice, find the correct pile of fruit cards, and count out the appropriate number based on the numeral rolled. To change things up, you might consider these play options as well:

• Create a fruit worksheet instead of fruit cards. As students roll both dice, have them count and mark off the correct number of fruit pieces. The first student to mark off their entire sheet by rolling the correct combination of numbers {i.e. if the first roll called for "4 strawberries", a second roll of "3 strawberries" will not finish out the row - they must be able to cross off the exact number shown - therefore they'll need two rolls of "1 strawberry" or one roll of "2 strawberries".} This type of game play is much more advanced and would work better in small groups.
• Have students use several number dice for addition practice.
• Create a custom die (or several numeral dice) with larger numbers {7 through 12, 13 through 18, etc.} to give students number and counting practice beyond "6".

Your students are sure to love the bright colors, rolling the large dice, and learning to count with this fruit game! Be sure to visit Lightening Bug Literacy for the download!

Happy Counting!