Little Picassos

The Very Hangry Toddler Craft

We all know that there is no reasoning with a hangry toddler. Work smarker, not harder at taming the tantrum.  How and with what? Toddler Art Activities can do wonders! Let the powers of oil and water play along with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Feeling Inspired

My Little Picasso loves books. He loves to read, and be read to. They are magic. Picture books and board books are always filled with beautiful art. Eric Carle has such a great style, with textures, layers and collage cut outs that come to life.

Start out this activity by reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar to your LP.

Project: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Leaf

The materials used for this activity were found at the Dollarstore, with the exception of watercolour paper —  you can use poster board or card stock instead. This project is made up of two parts, drying time is necessary.

– Crayons (leafy colours)
– Watercolour paper (white poster board can easily be used instead, it has to be relatively thick – card stock works too)
-watercolour tray/palette
-water cup
– pom poms (green and red.. I couldn’t find a red, so I used yellow)
-glue stick or white glue

All set? Time to get to steppin’!

Step 1.
Get Your Prep On!

Prep for this activity is relatively straight forward. Cut out a leaf shape (a pointy oval). If you are feeling fancy you can try a maple leaf, or an oak leaf.  Gather your crayon colours – 3 – 4 different colours. Have your paint tray ready with the water and brush (but hidden, so that they aren’t tempting).

Step 2.
All in the details!

Oil and water don’t mix. Its science. Every time I use this technique I feel very science-y, which I am far from. Crayons or oil pastels can be used to create shapes, lines, patterns, and letters on the leaf. The best part? Watercolour paint is repelled by the oil, and they do this fun little dance together. Complimenting each other as they do their magic.
Short version: Give your LP the crayons, let them go wild and create something beautiful.

Step 3.

Now its time for the watercolour paint, and magic. This step is a crowd pleaser. Remind your LP of the dipping motion you introduced to them during the mess free painting activity. Then show them how to dip the wet brush into the paints. Then with the paint covered brush, start covering the leaf. You may have to show your LP the rhythm a couple of times.
Ben was all about telling me when he dipped. He kept saying “dip, dip” knowing he had to dip twice.. maybe he’s a scientist?
Cover the whole leaf, mix colours and watch the magic of oil and water. Sit the leaf aside to dry.

Step 4.

Once your leaf is completely dry, its ready to have a little hungry friend! I took each pom pom individually, dipped it in glue, then handed them to Ben. One at a time he put them next to each other.

Step 5.
Hang it on the fridge, it’s done!

You and your LP explored a very important watercolour technique, a form of relief! Not only that, you won the battle over hanger. High five!

Happy Creating!

Looking to explore a few other techniques? Visit some of our other Little Picasso posts below!

Coffee Filter Flowers

Little Chicks

Fun With Stamps




I’m Char, Mike’s wife and Ben’s mama. We live in the east end and love long walks on the beach with our spunky wiener dog Sammie. My weeks often straddle a fine line as a stay-at-home mama, while hustling as an arts educator and freelance content writer/ illustrator. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be under the pile of laundry with my toddler, prepping materials for my next art workshop.

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