Finn made me a pictorial shopping list of all the fruits, to take with us to the supermarket. He took the book as reference for the other items of food.


  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • 1 apple
  • 2 pears
  • 3 plums
  • 4 strawberries
  • 5 oranges
  • 1 slice of chocolate cake
  • 1 ice cream cone
  • 1 pickle
  • 1 slice of swiss cheese
  • 1 salami
  • 1 lollipop
  • 1 slice of cherry pie
  • 1 sausage
  • 1 cupcake
  • 1 slice of watermelon


Finn insisted we found the food items in order as he recited the story. Cian enjoyed holding the book and examining the fruit.

We’d hoped to count out all the fruit and buy the right number of each, but unfortunately, some of it only came pre-packed. Undeterred, Finn turned it in to a subtraction exercise.

“Four apples and we only need one. 4-1=3, so 4-3 will leave one apple.”

After the fruit, Finn found the other items from the book. He did really well. He found a chorizo, instead of a salami, but was convinced that was what we wanted. He was also excited about the swiss cheese:

“It does really have holes in it? I thought the Very Hungry Caterpillar made those!”

He now can’t wait to have a Very Hungry Caterpillar picnic later.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 01 – Listening and attention:

Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.

ELG 02 – Understanding:

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

ELG 03 – Speaking:

Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners’ needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.


ELG 09 – Reading:

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.