Rainy Day Amusement: Paper Caterpillar Races

Ban rainy-day boredom with a fun, free craft that doubles as an exciting game. Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, BLOW!

I used to make these when I was a kid. My friends and I kept them inside our desks at school and when the teacher wasn’t looking we’d blow them across our notebooks. (Fun was cheap back in the ’80s eh?)

What you’ll need:
• A large flat cardboard box
• Markers and crayons
• Plain paper

Our caterpillar family


First, the caterpillars. We used to make piles of them and give them all different personalities depending on the colours we chose and the eyes we drew on them.

1. Cut out a small rectangle and colour one side. Draw the eyes along the short edge of one side.

2. Fold the paper accordion-style, making sure the eyes fall in one of the folded sections.

Next, the race track:

1. On one side of the box, have your helper draw a long vertical line or two across the box. Don’t forget to draw a starting line and a finish line! Other fun details might include a grandstand with spectators, stop and yield signs, checkered flags, a way to keep track of points—anything goes!

2. To race your caterpillars, set them down at the starting line (no cheating) and on the count of three, BLOW. Whoever crosses the finish line first, wins.

Bedtime for sleepy caterpillars

Then, design their home:

Use the other side of the box to draw a neighbourhood for your caterpillar family. You can add roads, traffic signs, houses, swimming pools, parks, playgrounds, schools, and shops. This will undoubtedly result in hilarious conversations and fantastic opportunities for creativity. For example, where would caterpillars go shopping? What would they buy? What does a playground look like for someone who doesn’t have feet? You get the picture.

It’s true what they say about kids and cardboard boxes; give a kid a box and it will result in hours of imaginative play.


Andrea Tomkins is a mother of two imps, and wife of one. You can follow her adventures on her blog, a peek inside the fishbowl, where she’s been writing about family life since 1999.

One response to “Rainy Day Amusement: Paper Caterpillar Races”

  1. Alex Kaleta says:

    The comforts of simple play…Love it!!!