16 The Runaway Bunny Activities For Toddlers – Before Five In A Row

by Melanie on May 20, 2014

The Runaway Bunny was one of our companion books during Goodnight Moon week. It is drawn and illustrated by the same talented duo who produced Goodnight Moon. Since I already had it checked out from the library, it made perfect sense for us to “row” on over to it for week 2 of Before Five In A Row.

I adore this playful story about a little bunny whose imagination leads him to becoming all sorts of different things as he plots to run away. His loving mother’s imagination matches his, becoming whatever it takes to find him every time.

“If you become a fish in a trout stream,” said his mother,

“I will become a fisherman and I will fish for you.”

It’s such a sweet story of a mother’s love, written poetically and illustrated whimsically to capture a child’s heart.

The Runaway Bunny

Making a bunny mask for The Runaway Bunny craft.

 

The Runaway Bunny Activities

 

1) Blowing Wind Tray

2) The Runaway Bunny Reenactment

3) Gardening

4) Fishing In a Trout Stream

5) The Runaway Bunny Printables

6) Let’s Go Fishing Game

7) Tightrope Walking Activity

8) Mountain Climber Tray

9) The Runaway Bunny Hide And Seek

10) The Runaway Bunny Slingshot Tray

11) Hopping Bunnies Tray

12) Garden Decorating

13) Name That Animal Game

14) Bunny Craft

15) Reading With A Purpose

16) Related Reading

 

1) Blowing Wind Tray

 

“If you become a sailboat and sail away from me,”said his mother,

“I will become the wind and blow you where I want you to go.”

the runaway bunny

The tray: a straw (to create the wind) and Styrofoam peanuts (to represent sailboats).

the runaway bunny

Blowing the sailboats across the tray. We also tried blowing without the straw and found we could make an even stronger “wind”!

 

 

2) The Runaway Bunny Reenactment

 

the runaway bunny

One day, the invitation to our story time was set up like this. Rocket took over baby bunny’s role by placing the finger puppet on his finger and I acted out mommy bunny’s role with the stuffed animal as we read the book. It was fun acting out the scenes together as we flipped through all the pages.

 

3) Gardening

 

“If you become a crocus in a hidden garden,”said his mother,

“I will be a gardener. And I will find you.”

the runaway bunny

After calling a couple of local plant nurseries, I discovered that a crocus is a bulb flower that’s planted in the fall. Even though we couldn’t put that particular plant in the ground, we have been doing extreme gardening this spring and this week was no exception! Here, Rocket is watering our lavender.

the runaway bunny

Helping Dad plant herbs.

the runaway bunny

This was the candid moment when Dad revealed to Rocket that he has his own special garden right next to the main garden!

the runaway bunny

Rocket sprinkling seeds in the soil for his own special garden spot created by Dad. I will be posting more about our gardening adventures soon!

4) Fishing In A Trout Stream

 

the runaway bunny

The trout stream: a bowl full of water. The fish: various magnets. The fishing pole: a strong magnet tied on a “pole”.

the runaway bunny

Fishing in the trout stream has been Rocket’s absolute favorite indoors activity for our The Runaway Bunny theme. We went fishing almost daily!

 

5) The Runaway Bunny Printables

 

the runaway bunny

Working on The Runaway Bunny printables from Homeschool Creations. This site is filled with awesome free resources for toddlers!

the runaway bunny

Labeling body parts on the bunny. I read the words to him and he placed them in the correct boxes.

 

6) Let’s Go Fishing Game

 

the runaway bunny

We’ve loved this Let’s Go Fishing game since I snagged it at a consignment sale back when I was still pregnant. It had been a few months since we’d played with it and after I saw how much he loved the Fishing In A Trout Stream activity, I knew he’d enjoy a second fishing option too.

the runaway bunny

His imagination is just as vivid as the young bunny’s from our book. He decided the fish were helicopters and flew them through the air!

the runaway bunny

Rocket has been quite the photographer lately. This one was taken by him.

the runaway bunny

He so kindly decided to share all the fish with Songbird when she was sleeping in my arms. This was the result!

 

7) Tightrope Walker Activity

 

“If you go flying on a flying trapeze,” said his mother,

“I will be a tightrope walker, and I will walk across the air to you.”

the runaway bunny

We practiced walking on this jump rope to imitate the tightrope walking from the book.

the runaway bunny

The tightrope walker in The Runaway Bunny is pictured with an umbrella, so Rocket requested one of his own for this activity.

 

8) Mountain Climber Tray

 

“If you become a rock on the mountain high above me,”

said his mother, “I will become a mountain climber,

and I will climb to where you are.”

the runaway bunny

This tray was composed of some plastic scenic toys we have, two plastic bunnies, and a real rock.

the runaway bunny

We brought the other animals out to play on the mountain too! Tot School is always very flexible, so I always welcome creative play even if it has nothing to do with our theme.

 

9) The Runaway Bunny Hide And Seek

 

the runaway bunny

The little bunny went all over the place to run away from his mom. One day, I surprised Rocket with a bunny hide-and-seek inside several rooms of our home and a couple areas outside.

The Runaway Bunny (1)

He carried the mommy bunny around with him and pretended that it was she who was searching for all the little bunnies.

the runaway bunny

Here, he is making the little bunny he just found fly onto his mother after he became a bird and she became a tree that he comes home to.

the runaway bunny

The couch was our “mountain”.

the runaway bunny

Little bunny as a sailboat.

the runaway bunny

I purchased the bunny hoppers in a pack for 30 cents! Easter discounts came at just the right time for our The Runaway Bunny theme.

the runaway bunny

The mother bunny finding her little bunny when he’s a fish in the trout stream.

 

10) The Runaway Bunny Slingshot Tray

 

the runaway bunny

The tray: a slingshot with stretchy bunnies. Another Easter clearance find!

the runaway bunny

It required great fine motor skills to attach the bunnies to the slingshot. This was a bit advanced for him and he didn’t spend too much time on it.

 

11) Hopping Bunnies Tray

 

the runaway bunny

Rocket has experience with 2 games like this one: Ants In The Pants and Frog Hoppers. When I found a pack of discounted bunny hoppers after Easter came and went, I snatched it up so that Rocket could practice the same skills with a new look.

the runaway bunny

He’s actually extremely good at this game- better than me! I couldn’t get them in for the life of me. He found it quite amusing that he kept getting them in the container and I couldn’t! 

 

12) Garden Decorating

 

the runaway bunny (25)

We made a run to the dollar store and Rocket helped me choose these decorations for our garden. The last page of The Runaway Bunny depicts a scarecrow, so the bunny scarecrow was a perfect addition to Rocket’s own special gardenHe decided where to put all of the decorations (and chose to put 2 of them in the main garden).

The Runaway Bunny Garden Decorating

At first, he thought about placing these decorations on the bird bath Dad made.

The Runaway Bunny Garden Decorating

Then he decided they’d be better on the ground. He wanted to take pictures of the decorations himself. For some reason, he put this shoestring next to each of the decorations for the photos!

The Runaway Bunny Garden Decorating

He loves taking pictures! This was with a digital camera instead of the usual (my iPhone), so they came out clear and not blurry despite his unstable toddler hands.

The Runaway Bunny Garden Decorating

And lastly, he took this photo of the scarecrow in his own special garden.

 

13) Name That Animal Game

 

I want to share a fun car game we’ve been playing: NAME THAT ANIMAL!

Rocket is always asking me to make up games we can play. Many times, the ideas I come up with completely bomb. This one, on the other hand, became a favorite. It’s very simple. I give him a clue and he guesses the animal. Then he gives me a clue and I guess the animal. We take turns. No one wins. No one loses.

Verbal games like this are great for teaching how to take turns, for assessing knowledge (both by the child’s ability to decipher the clue we give as well as the clues they think of themselves), and for learning to follow rules in structured games.

The clues can be as easy or challenging as is fitting for the age range. If the child can’t figure it out, keep adding clues until it becomes more obvious. Ours were things like:

“I am big and have a long trunk.”

“How much is that BLANK in the window?”

“Meow.”

“I fly in the sky and I live in a tree.”

“My neck is very, very long.”

“People shear me for my wool.” He didn’t get this one, so I added, “Mary had a little BLANK.”

“I am the main character from the book The Runaway BLANK.”

“I say BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ and I can sting.”

“You drink my milk.”

“I am a little red bug with black spots on my back. I can also fly.”

“I am the farmer’s pet and my name is BINGO.”

“I am Curious George.”

 

14) Bunny Craft

 

The Runaway Bunny

Rocket made a bunny mask for our week on The Runaway Bunny. He added to it after this photo was taken with even more marker scribbles!

 The Runaway Bunny

The invitation included a paper plate with pre-taped bunny ears as the canvas.

The Runaway Bunny

To the side, I’d placed a tray with his artist’s supplies: a permanent marker, animal stamps, paste, and colorful glitter.

The Runaway Bunny

He started with the stamps, then drew somewhat of a face on with marker, slathered paste all over it, and ended with the glitter. I cut out eye holes and the mask was done! 

 

15) Reading With A Purpose

 

Some things we focused on during our different reading sessions with this book:

  • We compared black & white sketches to color painting. We talked about which tools are used to create the different looks.
  • We compared illustrations in The Runaway Bunny and Goodnight Moon. The styles of the books are very similar to each other.
  • I emphasized my unconditional love for him. This book is about a mother’s love for her baby. Since Rocket is still adjusting to life with a sibling (and therefore less undivided attention), this book gave me a new way to talk to him about the fact that I will always be here for him. Having that sense of security is crucial for a child’s emotional intelligence.

 

16) Related Reading

 

the runaway bunny

  • I Could Eat You Up by Jo Harper – An enduring book about the bond between momma animals and their babies.
  • Where Did Bunny Go? by Nancy Tafuri – This one is about a bunny who plays hide-and-seek with his friends. When they can’t find him, they start to worry that he has run away. Like The Runaway Bunny, its moral helps to build a sense of security that loved ones do not run away from or give up on each other.
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown – This was the first book of our Before Five In A Row themes and we kept it on the shelf this week too!
  • The Fathers Are Coming Home by Margaret Wise Brown – Another story by the talented Miss Brown.

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