‘Tis the season for bunnies!
They’re everywhere, aren’t they?
(In fact, just the other night I had a dream that Winston Churchill was a giant bunny doing a puppet show for some children. He couldn’t remember the character’s names or the plot, so Sarah Mackenzie from Read Aloud Revival appeared as the Voice in the Sky to coach him along. That’s what happens when you watch The Crown and listen to the RAR podcast in the spring.)
At any rate, I want to jump right in and share the titles of 4 bunny books we have read over and over again through the years. I’m always surprised that they’re not on the “Favorite Books for Toddlers” lists because they’re super-duper cute.
They’d be perfect to tuck in an Easter basket come April. In fact, I’ll give you some hands-on gift-ideas in just a minute…
Introducing Alan Baker’s Little Rabbit series! There’s… Gray Rabbit’s 1,2,3; Gray Rabbit’s Odd One Out; Black and White Rabbit’s ABC; Brown Rabbit’s Shape Book; White Rabbit’s Colors; Little Rabbit’s Snacktime; Brown Rabbit’s Day… and several more.
(SO MANY BUNNIES!)
Preschool at our house…
Every school day, after I work one-on-one with our Kindergartner, the 2-year-old joins us for a snack, reading a picture book, and doing a simple activity associated with the book. She isn’t quite ready for Five In A Row, so I pull a picture book off the shelf and we either act it out or do a something simple to experience the story.
I’ve recently pulled 4 of them off the shelf for our Pre-K/ Kindergarten time and we’ve been loving them all over again. This past week, we read one of the Rabbit books each day and enjoyed a short-and-sweet activity afterward.
Here are the activities we did with each book:
(Each activity took 5 minutes to prep and about 15 minutes to enjoy.)
Brown Rabbit’s Shape Book: To imitate Brown Rabbit’s experience (spoiler alert!), I tucked a handful of balloons inside a clean yogurt container. Then, I placed the container in a cardboard box with a rectangular notecard labeled “To the KIDS!” and delivered the box.
Of course the kids loved opening it up and dumping the balloons out. We blew up the balloons and let them whooosh around the room. (Note: you may want a handy balloon pump so you don’t faint. I had to dig ours out…)
Black and White Rabbit’s ABC: As you can see above, the kids got out their green paint and paint brushes and made big, green apples just like Rabbit. We experimented with making the drips switch direction on the paper, just like Rabbit did. And then, we added some nice, big “kisses”.
Gray Rabbit’s 1,2,3: After reading this one, we opened some tubes of play-doh and tried to make some of the animals in the book. (I wish I would’ve taken a picture of this because you would’ve been proud of my rumpeting, trumpeting elephant.
Gray Rabbit’s Odd One Out: Each of our kiddos has a personalized little toy bin in the school room where we toss their miscellaneous toys for a quick clean-up. We emptied the bins and sorted the toys together – dolls with dolls, balls with balls, superheroes with superheroes, looking for the special toy that would be the “odd one out”. It was the duct-tape hockey puck. (Isn’t it always?)
A few gift-ideas…
I think that each of these books lends itself to a meaningful hands-on gift. In fact, we sent “Brown Rabbit’s Shapes” to our nephew with a pack of multi-shaped balloons. You could tuck a pack of paintbrushes and a box of watercolors in with “Black and White Rabbit’s ABC” or a few tubes of fresh Playdoh with “Gray Rabbit’s 1,2,3.”
Why “play” books?
I get a kick out of reading a book with children and having a little experience afterward because it’s fun for all of us. Secondly, it builds the child’s connection with the book, improves his or her comprehension of the plot, characters, and vocabulary. Not to mention, it starts them off on a wonderful lifestyle of responding personally and creatively to the books that they read – this is a treasure for today and for the future.
Maybe a child in your life would enjoy this, too?