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The Very Hungry Caterpillar sensory tray

  • By Zoe Limbert
  • 13th September 2022

A sensory tray is a great way to engage children with new textures, feelings, ideas and experiences. Sensory play allows for children to explore their senses in a safe and controlled environment and can provide opportunities to develop self-regulation in response to these sensory experiences.

You can buy specific ‘Tuff Trays’ or assemble your sensory tray in a washing up bowl, baking tin, or another suitably sized object.

If you’re worried about mess, lay out a towel or sheet underneath your sensory tray.

You can view The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle online here.

What to include in your The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Tray

Sensory Trays can be created using any range and combination of items and materials – meaning you can tailor it to meet your child’s current sensory needs.

In the story, the Very Hungry Caterpillar munches his way through all manner of fruits and foods including pears, plums, strawberries, oranges, cake, pickles, cheese, pie, watermelon, sausage! This is a great opportunity to introduce your child to samples of the food – allowing them to explore the textures and tastes.

However, there are other ways you can explore the textures and smells of the Hungry Caterpillar’s feast:

  • Strawberry jelly – a lovely fun colour, scent and texture
  • Dried leaves
  • Playdough rolled into different sized balls
  • Brightly coloured tissue paper / fabric – to scrunch and wave to represent the caterpillar turning into a butterfly
  • Dried beans/lentils/rice
  • Shredded tissue paper as grass
  • Sponge – representing squishy sponge cake
  • Dried pasta
  • Pom Poms
  • Pipe cleaners
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