Combine scraps of construction paper, a child’s imagination and inspiration from the “Runaway Bunny” by Margaret Wise Brown and watch kids create unique literature based Easter crafts. It’s easy to think children need photocopied type crafts but the one below with the pop up bunny was designed by a five-year old.
Instead of always providing your students with ready made worksheets for crafts, art or literature, let them use their resourcefulness to create representations of the story characters. Inspire the kids by showing them how to make a few story characters by gluing odds and ends of craft materials together. Teach them basic art skills throughout the year and they will soon figure out how to make things work with trial and error. No need for perfection, the kids don’t care!
Children’s appreciation for literature increases as they listen to stories from great authors, look at quality illustrations and have opportunities to respond to books with art, drama, music, writing and sculpting with modeling clay.
- For the Peek a Boo bunny Easter craft above, read The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown to the children, then talk about all the different ways the bunny tried to run away and why he didn’t. Some children will have questions about this concept and it may offer an opportunity to discuss safety issues.
- Return to the page where the bunny becomes a crocus in a hidden garden and show him peeking out of the flower.
- Offer the children a box of scrap paper, craft items, glue, and scissors and watch them create unique creations with little guidance.
- Demonstrate how to fold a paper in half, draw half a flower, then draw two slits (see image below)
- Show the kids how to cut the slits, then cut the flower and open it up.
- Have some stems precut from stiffer paper for the children to color (old file folders work well).
- Draw a rabbit, cut it out and tape or glue it to the stem.
- Thread the stem through the slits in the flower and watch the Runaway Bunny go down to hide and up to peek out.
More rabbit stories
As well as making lots of Easter crafts, the Easter holiday is an opportune time to learn more about rabbits and mammals.
In Rabbits, Rabbits & More Rabbits, Gail Gibbon offers some history and background as well as characteristics, habitats, reproduction, and different breeds.
Rabbits And Raindrops by Jim Arnoskyis a story about five bunnies emerging from their nest for the first time. The rhythmical text and vibrant watercolor illustrations are just right for young children. Finish up with a field trip to the pet store to see real rabbits.
Inspiring children to respond to literature
After reading stories to children, avoid always asking them to make exact replica crafts photocopied from a teacher’s guidebook. Instead, let the children respond to the characters with modeling compounds, with “imagination station” type objects, scraps of colored construction paper or/and craft items such as colored popsicle sticks.