Crafts And Conversation: Paper Chain Caterpillar With The DUCK Lab

Get crafty with the DUCK Lab! Each Friday, trained research assistants from the UNCG Psychology Department’s DUCK Lab will guide at-home crafts for children ages 3 to 12. Parents can join too to learn fun facts about crafts that foster age-appropriate skills or learn about the DUCK Lab’s nonprofit child development research projects. 


This Friday, the DUCK Lab invites all elementary age friends to join Andrea and make a paper chain caterpillar! Follow along as Andrea takes you through each step and see we can fold and bring together construction paper to make a long caterpillar!


Parents, did you know?

This craft offers an opportunity for your children to illustrate how they use perceptual reasoning to think about categories. Read on below for more info. about the connection between these types of activities and age-appropriate developmental milestones.


We also invite you to check out our child development research opportunities, which are now modified for the virtual world! Please click here to learn more or sign up to participate with us.


Here’s what you’ll need to get started:


Supplies:

  • Construction paper

  • Pipe cleaners

  • Scissors

  • Googly eyes

  • Glue dots

  • Stapler

Directions:

  1. Cut about 4 strips of construction paper. If you’d like to make a very long caterpillar, cut more strips!

  2. Grab one strip and bring the ends together to form a ring shape. Staple the two ends together. Then, grab another strip of paper and bring the ends together. Close the ends of the second ring while it is attached to the first ring. Make sure that the second ring is not in the same direction as the first ring. So, if your first ring closed in the horizontal direction, your second ring should close in the vertical direction. Staple and close the second ring while attached to the first ring.

  3. Repeat Step 2 for the remaining strips.

  4. Use glue to stick googly eyes to the caterpillar head.

  5. Cut a pipe cleaner in half. Stick each piece to the caterpillar head to form the antennae.


The DUCK Lab: Paper Chain Caterpillar


Relation to Developmental Science:

As kids learn about the world around them, developmental research shows that children categorize similar entities together and make room for exceptions as they learn about new examples. This means that children might commonly assume this craft is a worm or snake, given that those animals share perceptual similarities to caterpillars. Nevertheless, this craft a chance for parents to teach children how animals might look alike, but are different. Additionally, to assemble this craft, children might experience difficulties as they construct each paper ring. Luckily, developmental research shows that children are fairly optimistic about their abilities and will likely persevere and not give up after an initial failure.


*Great for early elementary schoolers!



Learn more about the DUCK Lab and the UNCG Child Development Research Center here!


The DUCK Lab is a partner in the nonprofit Child Development Research Center in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. They conduct studies of social and cognitive development with 2- to 12- year-olds. Families who participate in their research studies are volunteers in the Greensboro community who generously offer their time to help support research and training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.