Make your own Rad Racing Caterpillars

These crazy, crawling caterpillars are simple to make and loads of fun to play with. By blowing on their backs with a straw, these bugs will creep and crawl along just like the real thing!

Build Time: 10 Minutes (Approx)

Skill Level: Easy

You Will Need:

  • Caterpillar Template (See links below)
  • Drinking Straw
  • Scissors
  • Felt Pens or Crayons (Optional)

Check out the video below to see the caterpillars in action and make your own!

To make your Rad Racing caterpillars, print one of the templates below. We’ve made one template in colour and left one blank in case you want to decorate it yourself. Each template sheet makes two caterpillars and two straws. If you can’t print out the template, don’t worry, In the video, we also show you how to make a caterpillar from a regular piece of paper.

Cut out the pieces along the solid black lines, then carefully fold the caterpillar as shown. If you don’t already have a straw, you can make your own by rolling the “Straw piece” into a tube and sticking it together with some tape.

To make your caterpillar move, use the straw to blow short puffs of air onto the caterpillar’s back and it will start to crawl along. With a bit of practice, you will be able to make it move in different directions, race and even steer your caterpillar.

How does it work?

Although it looks like a creepy-crawly, your caterpillar is actually a very simple spring. Springs are useful because they can absorb and store energy. When you compress (push down) a spring, like when you blow on your caterpillar, some of that energy gets stored inside it. When you stop pushing on it, that energy is released causing it to “spring” back into its original shape. As it does, friction between the head and tail sections of your caterpillar and the ground causes it to move forward, making it look like the caterpillar is crawling!