This a such a lovely story with a range of animals, repetitive language and a funny ending. If you do not have the book please watch Julia Donaldson reading the book here. If you have the book then use a range of different voices for the animals.
Listed below are some writing, role play, mathematics, art, baking, science and gross motor activities. There is even a ‘Frog Day’ and a jumping competition!
Role play and Writing: Rabbit’s Burrow
To get your child excited after you have read or watched the story, it’s time to create Rabbit’s burrow. Where does Rabbit live? What will it look like? My daughter loved playing with it, so we had it up for two days!
You will need:
- A sheet
- The animals in the story: rabbit, cat, bear, elephant and 2 frogs. If you don’t have those animals then improvise! We don’t have any frogs but have 2 turtles so we used them instead.
- Card to make the signs
- Start by discussing how you are going to make Rabbit’s burrow. What could you use? We draped a sheet over two chairs and then placed it on the sofa. It was pretty dark inside.
- Everyone needs to know that it’s Rabbit’s burrow so you need to make signs. I wrote the word Rabbit’s on the card and my daughter used strips of sticky labels to go over the letters. She then decorated the burrow with her own writing. You might choose to use crayons, paint, collage or use felt tips. Whatever you like! If you have an older child, they could write the signs themselves.
- Start retelling the story using the animals, concentrating on the repetitive language patterns of the story, using different voices for the animals.
Writing: An invitation from Rabbit
Rabbit would like to invite all of his friends round for tea.
- You will need: a piece of card or paper and the sound mat (letters of the alphabet) to help with letter formation.
- Explain to your child that Rabbit would like to write an invitation to his friends so they can come round for tea.
- What information do we need on an invitation?
- Encourage your child to write and then write down what they have written. Discuss the sounds as they write them or the pictures that they draw.
- Then your child can deliver the invitation to the animals and hope that they will come!
Maths and Role Play: Tea Party Sharing
This activity involves some role play, early stages of division and counting. Rabbit has invited his friends round for a tea party.
- You will need: An elephant, bear, rabbit and cat (or whatever animals you have.) Make sure they are the same ones that you used for the den role play. A tea set, fruit for sharing, other food for sharing, 4 bowls, chairs for the animals – out came the toilet rolls!
- Set up all of the seats, animals, tea set and bowls in Rabbit’s burrow.
- It’s time to have some food. Show your child the fruit (ideally it would be one that you can cut). Do NOT cut it before. As your child to count the animals. Yes, there are 4 animals. Now I have one apple. Ask them “How am I going to share this apple so they all have an equal amount?” Yes, I need to cut it.
- Cut the apple in half. “How many pieces do I have now?” yes 2 but there are 4 animals so what are we going to do?
- Help your child to realise that it needs cutting again. Ask your child to give the apple parts to the animals. “Do they all have an equal amount?”
- Repeat with other food. We used breadsticks that I had already divided up. Ask your child to divide them equally between the animals, making sure they are giving one to each animal and then repeating until all of the food has gone.
- Now the animals can eat and drink their tea!
Maths: Animal weighing
This activity explore the concept of weight and what happens with heavy items.
- You will need: lots of animals and the Rabbit’s burrow.
- Place the animals on one by one and see what happens as you place them on. The sheet will gradually go down, and in the end, collapse. Place the light ones on first to keep it going for longer.
- Discuss what is happening to the sheet and why.
- Repeat with other variables – place heavier ones on and then the light ones.
- Lastly, place the heaviest one on first and see what happens. Did the burrow collapse straight away? If so why?
Science: Larva Lamp
As Rabbit’s burrow is so dark, we thought we would make it lighter for him by making a larva lamp.
This experiment involves Alka-Seltzer so please stay with your child at all times. Do not leave them unattended.
This experiment works much better with wine glasses rather than tumbler ones.
- You will need: Wine glasses, food colouring, water, vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets.
- Pour water into the wine glass so that it is a quarter full.
- Add vegetable oil to the top.
- Add a few drops of food colouring.
- Break up your Alka-Seltzer tablet into a few pieces and place it in your larva lamp.
- Watch as it bubbles away.
Gross Motor Skills: Animal Movement
We thought about how each of the animals would move and moved around the house like that animal. This is great for your child’s gross motor skills.
- Decide with your child how each of the animals will move. We had: Hop like a rabbit, creep like a cat, march like a bear, stamp like an elephant and leap like a frog.
- You give the instructions and you walk around stamping or creeping etc.
- After a while, include fast, slowly, loudly and quietly.
- Finally you can swap and your child can give the instructions.
Art: Bear Footprints
Bear footprints have arrived in your house!
- You will need: a bear footprint template, leaves, collage materials and porridge oats.
- Discuss how the bear footprint arrived inside.
- Decorate the footprint with the resources.
Art: A Frog Headband
Welcome to Frog Day! We did these activities over a couple of days. As the Giant Jumperee was a frog we decided we would learn more about frogs!
- You will need: Green card, tape or stapler, string and pens.
- Measure your child’s head using the string.
- Place the string on the card and leave a little extra for piecing the headband together.
- Cut out the frog outline and decorate it.
- Fix it together with tape or staples.
Science and Reading: Frog Facts
It is time to learn about frogs. What does your child already know about frogs? This activity incorporates science and reading.
- You will need: props to support your facts (look at the photo above for what we used), card and sound flashcards.
- Set up the props beforehand with the flashcards in the wrong order.
- Discuss what the props are and decide on a fact that could be written do to support the prop. There is a bird so the fact can be ‘birds eat frogs.’
- Repeat with the other props, writing the facts down.
- Together, place the sounds in the correct order to make the word ‘frog’ and then read the word with your child, touching the sounds one at a time.
Art: Colour Mixing Lillypads
You are going to create lillypads for frogs to sit on. When colour mixing children are observing, predicting and comparing when they mix the colours together. They use problem solving skills to make colours darker or lighter.
- You will need: cereal boxes or packaging boxes cut up and green, white, yellow, blue an black paints.
- Draw a template of different sized lily pads on the card.
- Mix the blue and yellow together to make green.
- Discuss with your child how to make the green lighter and darker. What paint should we mix with it?
- Paint the lily pads the different shades of green you have created.
- Lastly, let your child experiment. They will probably mix all the paint together and create a muddy brown!
Baking: Squashed Fly Biscuits
Frogs like to eat flies so you can bake squashed fly biscuits! Hooray!
- You will need: plain flour, butter, caster sugar, milk, cinnamon sugar (we just used a sprinkle of cinnamon), currants or raisins, egg to glaze. We followed this recipe: https://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/recipe_directory/s/squashed_fly__biscuits.html
- We then placed them on the lillypad, wore the frog headband and ate the squashed fly biscuits. Yummy!
Gross Motor: Jumping Competition
As the Giant Jumperee was a frog, and frogs jump, you are going to have a jumping competition! For this you can make as much or as little as you want.
- You will need paper cut in strips, glue and family labels.
- Before the big event, make some paper chains (which are also great for their fine motor,) which you will use to show how far each member of your family has jumped.
- Write name labels for each member of your family. If your child is older, they could write the name labels themselves.
- Discuss with your child how to make the jumping competition fair – you need to have a starting point where you will jump from.
- Take turns to jump and lay down the paper chains and labels for each person.
- Look at the results and discuss who jumped the furthest and then repeat.
- Can you jump further than your last jump?
Extras you could do:
- Make a large sign that says ‘Jumping Competition’
- Record the results in a table.
- Measure the distance using a tape measure or use large steps and record the results.
- Create ‘Jumping Competition’ tickets for family members.
- Make snacks and drinks for everyone to eat afterwards.