Racing Paper Caterpillar Game

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This post contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

One of my kids’ favorite books growing up was the classic Hungry Caterpillar. And what kids don’t like caterpillars? After all, they go through one of the most drastic transformations of all things alive to become a butterfly.

This DIY caterpillar racing game requires very little supplies and super simple to make. My 3 and 5 years olds were able to follow my instructions and make their own caterpillars.

The paper caterpillar really looks like it’s crawling when you blow on it! My kids got so excited that we made multiple caterpillars and they even asked to make more the next day. 

Whether your kid is just a preschooler or a teenager, this cute caterpillar racing activity will entertain your whole family, guaranteed.

How to Make Origami Paper Caterpillars that Crawl

Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Cut the paper about 1.25 inches wide and 6-8 inches long.
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-1
  2. Fold the strip in half to create a crease in the middle.
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-2
  3. Fold the paper toward the middle crease.
    Paper Caterpillar Race 3
  4. Repeat the same fold on the other side.
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-5
  5. Fold the strip again from outside to the middle crease. Paper-Caterpillar-Race-4
  6. Repeat the same fold on the other side.
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-6
  7. Fold the two halves together.
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-7
  8. Using a scissor, trim all 4 edges round.
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  9. Unfold the strip.
  10. Use a pen or marker to draw eyes and mouth on the caterpillar head. 
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-8
  11. Turn your caterpillar around and count 3 sections up from the tail.
  12. Mark the 3rd segment with a heart (or whatever shape you want). 
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-9
  13. Show your child how to gently blow at the heart with a drinking straw to make the caterpillar crawl!
    Paper-Caterpillar-Race-11

It may take your kids a few practice blows before learning just how hard to blow to make the caterpillar crawl instead of slide. Having the mark on the third segment really helps your child know where to blow.

You can make the paper caterpillars crawl across the table and off the ledge. You can race with your kid to see which caterpillar is faster. The best part of this caterpillar racing game is that if you have two kids, they can race against each other and you can sit down for a cup of coffee!

You can also have your kid build a race track for the caterpillar. Using pipe cleaners, disposable chopsticks, rulers, or even yarn, your kid can build tracks for the caterpillars to race on. Let your kid be creative and come up with his/her own design.

Final Thoughts on the Paper Caterpillar Racing Game

The paper caterpillars are so cute. The kids have lots of fun practicing their fine motor skills by cutting out the strip of paper and accordion folding the strip. Then you may even get some independent play going on so you can do whatever you want. What’s there not to like about this indoor activity for kids?

This racing caterpillars game is also perfect to incorporate into a lesson about the life cycle of a caterpillar. You can read the Hungry Caterpillar with your child, talk about how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, and then do this activity to reinforce the concept.

Whether you do this caterpillar straw race activity as part of a science lesson or just a boredom buster, I hope you and your kid truly enjoyed it!

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