Kids love bugs—so what better way to introduce them to gardening than with their very own silly hairy caterpillar?!  These caterpillars are easy to make, very cute, and super cool when they start to grow grassy hair in just a few short weeks!

A “hairy” caterpillar for your garden! (

Time: 30 minutes, and a few weeks for grass to grow.


  • A small paper cup, with the bottom cut out, so it’s like a hollow tube
  • A knee high stocking
  • Soil and grass seed mixture
  • Yarn or string
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue
  • Pom-pom
  • 2 pieces of pipe cleaner
  • Water

Adult Prep: Cut out the bottom from the paper cup and assist with tying knots!

Kids’ Activity:

  1. Place the cut cup inside the stocking so the top of the cup is at the opening of the stocking.
  2. Fill the stocking with the soil and grass seed mixture until almost, but not quite, full.
  3. Remove the cup from the stocking and tie the open end of the stocking into a knot.  This will be the tail of your caterpillar.
  4. Tie 3 pieces of yarn or string around the body of your caterpillar in different places to make a head, middle, and tail.
  5. Glue 2 googly eyes onto the front of the caterpillar.  You should be able to see a “smile” made by the line in the stocking where your toes would go!
  6. Glue a pom-pom nose onto the face of your caterpillar beneath the eyes and above the smile.
  7. Place the pipe cleaner (antennae!) into the top of the caterpillar’s head.  You’ll need to poke through the stocking so it’s held in place by the soil inside.
  8. Take your caterpillar outside and water it until it’s soaked.  Place it in a warm, sunny spot and keep moist, although it doesn’t need to remain soaked after the initial watering.
  9. Be patient!  In a few weeks, your bald caterpillar will be very hairy—with grass!

– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too!  In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.

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