Home » Math » Build a Caterpillar (FREE 20 – 50 Number Work)


Has it started to feel like spring in your area?? This week our weather has been warm, sunny, with a chance of green showers. Once spring hits a thin layer of green pollen covers EVERYTHING, and our excitement over the sunshine is often diminished as everyone deals with red itchy eyes and runny noses.

Despite all that, we have spent as much time as we could outside, and I wanted to create a spring-like math activity to celebrate this season.

I can’t believe my four-year-old will be starting Kindergarten in August. We are continuing our work on sight words and the alphabet words using This Reading Mama’s Reading The Alphabet, and he joins in for most of my six year old’s math activities.

Some he gets, and some fly over his head. He enjoys this time with us, so I let him participate and see what sticks.

Today though I decided to create something just for him.

Caterpillar 20 – 50 Number Work

These cute little guys are an awesome way to practice numbers 20 through 50. First, decide how you want to use this. Will it be a center for your student that they will do over and over? Or is it a craft to send home?


  1. Print off each page on cardstock paper. Print off the page with the heads 3 times.
  2. Cut them out and then laminate. (I recommend Scotch Thermal Laminator 2 Roller Systemif you do not have access to one)
  3. Divide them up so that the children are not overwhelmed. I would recommend the max be 10 caterpillars per session, but you may only want to do five depending on the needs of your child or students.


If you want to make it more of a craft, just provide glue and scissors. I would still recommend dividing them up depending on the child. My four year old was able to handle doing about eight at a time before his attention span ran out.

Background Knowledge:

Before you begin you want to make sure your students have worked with ten frames, tally marks, and base ten blocks. Here are a few activities if you feel you need more work or want to introduce your students to these concepts.

Base Ten

Ten Frames

Tally Marks

How to Use Caterpillar 20 – 50 Number Work

Once you are sure they understand tally marks, base ten blocks, and ten frames you are ready to go. Spread out the circles on the table. Have them put down all the heads and the numeric numbers. Then let them grab whatever they want to do next, and have them figure out what the card is modeling or representing.   Once they figure out the number they can add it to the correct caterpillar.

What I worked on most with my four-year-old, was remembering if we needed to count by fives or tens. Almost daily we sing counting songs, so the counting is almost second nature to him. What he struggles with it remembering to count by fives with the tally marks, and tens with the base ten blocks and ten frames.

The other thing we really have to work on is being able to switch from counting by fives or tens to counting by ones. We pulled out our trusty 100’s chart and dry erase markers as a tool to help him with this. He is definitely getting better the more we practice.

Enjoy making the number caterpillar! You can also make it caterpillar day and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and work on comprehension with these free printables from Make It Cooze.

Other related posts:


This is a subscriber freebie. If you are already a subscriber, check the most recent email for the latest password. If you aren’t a subscriber, sign up below and the password will be provided in the first email you receive. You will also get $2 off to use the You’ve Got This Store.


You’ll find it under the Building Number Sense Section!


2 thoughts on “Build a Caterpillar (FREE 20 – 50 Number Work)

Comments are closed.