Friday, 3 May 2013

Lilo's Very Hungry Caterpillar 2nd Birthday Party

Two years ago yesterday, at around 5 in the morning, my little caterpillar Lilo was born at home, upstairs in our bedroom. He has been a hungry caterpillar since that day and has grown into a big caterpillar indeed. He is also already spreading his wings as a butterfly and we love him so much for all he is.

For his second birthday, some really lovely friends of his (and their amazing mummies/daddies) came to our house to celebrate yesterday. I had planned a Very Hungry Caterpillar themed party after the well-loved book by Eric Carle, and researched the many Pinterest boards and blogs on the subject extensively before starting on the different aspects of the party a few weeks ago.
Lilo wears his antennae and butterfly wings for the party
I am glad to say that fun was had by all, especially the birthday boy. Here is what we did.

The house was decorated to reflect the very hungry caterpillar themes, with a hanging lantern caterpillar on the wall, a balloon caterpillar on the banister outside and a butterfly I made out of recycled milk bottle plastic and Sharpie markers (see here for instructions). I ordered plates, bowls, cups (and themed stickers and badges for the party bags) online from The Pod Company, and bought the Very Hungry Caterpillar fabric from Hobbycraft. Our upright piano was a good out-of-reach display "table" for the sweet food.

 For the food, I basically followed the instructions laid out in the book by Eric Carle and we had all the food featured in the story (apart from ice cream, which I swapped for jellies, as we were having the party inside the house). Here is a list of the food that I prepared that was on offer:

  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Orange segments
  • Watermelon
  • Slices of Emmental cheese
  • Slices of salami
  • Gherkins
  • Chocolate cake (with red glace cherries on top)
  • Cocktail sausages
  • Lollipops
  • Cherry pie
  • Cupcakes 
  • Jellies

I also added French bread slices and homemade sausage rolls to bulk it up a bit.

I printed out food pictures from the book from this website and stuck them on matching coloured card and lollipop sticks to go on the different bowls and plates of food.

I designed the birthday cake, completely inspired by this one and this one, using Annabel Karmel's birthday cake recipe. It was a really yummy sponge that didn't really need filling with jam and was moist just eaten by itself. I baked one for the caterpillar in a Bundt tin and the other in two round tins. I prepared the fondant decorations for the cake 1 week ago, which gave them time to harden.
I prepared the fondant decorations a week ahead
The round cakes were covered with marzipan and then iced white and decorated with the fondant icing shapes and little polka dot decorations I got from the supermarket.
Decorating the round cake
I cut the ring-shaped cake and made it into a caterpillar by covering with different colours of green fondant icing for the body and red for the head. There is also a layer of marzipan under the icing.
The finished hungry caterpillar cake
The cake seen from above

We played a game called "Feed the hungry caterpillar" - I painted a caterpillar face on a canvas and cut out a hole for the mouth. Then we had the children throw caterpillar felt food into the mouth hole.
Caterpillar felt food I made 2 weeks ago

Feeding the caterpillar

We also played musical statues and pass the parcel. I had wrapped a little wooden caterpillar (worm) in brown and gold tissue paper to pretend it was a cocoon.

I had set up a little craft table in the kitchen with a sticky contact paper covered tray. Exploration boxes containing recycled milk bottle lids colored green and red and green and red pompoms were there for the children to create their own caterpillars.
There were also plenty of pens, crayons and copies of the Very Hungry Caterpillar colouring sheet I found on the Eric Carle website.

The party bags for the children to take home contained:
- A very hungry caterpillar sticker sheet
- A very hungry caterpillar badge
- A bag of sweeties
- A bag of homemade red and green make-your-own caterpillar play dough with googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae inspired by The Imagination Tree
- A very hungry caterpillar activity sheet (for older children)
Party bag for all children to take home
We all had a fabulous day and even though all the preparation was a lot of effort, it was really worth it.


  1. Super cute party! Thanks so much for linking this up to the Pinworthy Projects Party! You will be featured tomorrow at Just Us Four!