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Cress caterpillar – how to grow cress

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two images - one of a painted green caterpillar made from egg boxes with googly eyes and pipe cleaner antenna  - caterpillar has cress growing from it's back. Other image shows the cress snipped onto an egg mayonnaise sandwich with grapes.

Teach kids how to grow cress with this super cute caterpillar gardening activity – just perfect spring craft for kids

Cress Caterpillars are a fab introduction to gardening for young children. 

Kids have a natural interest in gardening and growing plants.

They love the whole process, planting, watering their little project and looking after it.

Best of all with our cress caterpillars they get to eat it once it’s grown.

Cress Caterpillars are a really lovely activity for younger children – nice and bright and fun.

Cress caterpillars are fun to make leading up to spring. You can grow them inside on a nice sunny windowsill.

The huge advantage of growing cress is that you really only have a few days to wait until you can eat it.

How to grow cress caterpillars

What you need to make cress caterpillars

  • egg box
  • green paint
  • paint brush
  • scissors
  • pipe cleaner
  • stick on eyes
  • red pen to draw the smile
  • sticky tape
  • cotton wool
  • cress seeds

What you need for the cress caterpillar lunch

  • pan
  • water
  • egg
  • mayonnaise
  • bread
  • scissors
  • the cress caterpillar

How to grow cress caterpillars – instructions

  • Firstly cut the egg box in half so that we have 3 mini plant pots in a row.
  • Next we cut a caterpillar face from the egg box lid.
  • Paint the whole caterpillar and face green and then allow to dry.
  • Using sticky tape attach the caterpillar face to the body.
  • Stick on curled pipe cleaners for antennae.
  • Stick on the eyes and draw a smile.
  • Fill the plant pots with cotton wool.
  • Sprinkle cress seeds into each pot and dampen with a sprinkling of water.
  • Put onto a nice sunny windowsill and water every day.
5 images showing a young boy in stripy top making a cress caterpillar from egg boxes painted green, stuffed with cotton wool and sprinkled with cress seeds

How to make egg and cress sandwiches with your cress caterpillar

  • After around a week of growing the cress will be ready to eat!
  • So to make egg and cress sandwiches – put your egg on to boil – just pop it in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and boil for around 7-8 minutes.
  • Then remove the egg and allow it to cool. Once cool, peel off the egg shell and chop with a teaspoon of mayonnaise.
  • Spread the chopped egg mayonnaise onto slices of bread.
  • Help your child to snip the cress with scissors and give it a quick rinse.
  • Sprinkle on top of the egg mayonnaise sandwiches.

Learning Opportunities with Cress Caterpillars

Lots of learning opportunities can be incorporated into this activity.

Plenty of language and conversation practice and use of descriptive words.

Fine motor skills involved in the making of the cress caterpillar.

The simple science of growing plants, watching the seeds germinate and start to grow.

And ending with helping to cook a nice little lunch.

We like to read the Hungry Caterpillar as our bedtime story whilst we are doing this activity!

Spring Crafts for Kids to Try

Yield: 1 cress caterpillar

How to grow cress caterpillars

two images - one of a painted green caterpillar made from egg boxes with googly eyes and pipe cleaner antenna - caterpillar has cress growing from it's back. Other image shows the cress snipped onto an egg mayonnaise sandwich with grapes.

Super cute gardening craft for kids - how to grow cress

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 40 minutes
Additional Time 7 days
Total Time 7 days 50 minutes
Difficulty Easy

Materials

  • Empty cardboard egg box 
  • Green paint 
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Stick on eyes 
  • Red pen
  • Sticky tape 
  • Cotton wool balls 
  • Packet of cress seeds 

Tools

  • Paint brush
  • Scissors 

Instructions

  1. Firstly cut the egg box in half so that we have 3 mini plant pots in a row
  2. Next we cut a caterpillar face from the egg box lid
  3. Paint the whole caterpillar and face green and then allow to dry
  4. Using sticky tape attach the caterpillar face to the body
  5. Stick on curled pipe cleaners for antennae
  6. Stick on the eyes and draw a smile
  7. Fill the plant pots with cotton wool
  8. Sprinkle cress seeds into each pot and dampen with a sprinkling of water
  9. Put onto a nice sunny windowsill and water every day.five step by step photos for making a cress caterpillar from egg boxes - clueing the box to caterpillar shape, painting it green, filling it with cotton wool, planning the cress seeds

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cress caterpillar with small child in background - how to grow cress instructions

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