The Learning Resources® Jumbo Pets set has been such a staple in our play over the past year. The larger size of the animals, combined with their excellent quality and durability, has meant that we have enjoyed lots of creative adventures with the dog, cat, fish, rabbit, guinea pig, and bird. In this series of blogs, we share some fun and unusual ways to use your Jumbo Pets to keep the play creative and engaging. Now we are shining the spotlight on the Jumbo Rabbit.
Activity 1 Set Up: Small World Feeding Bin
The great thing about both of the activities I’m sharing for the Jumbo Rabbit is that they take a matter of minutes to set up but lead to lots of excellent numeracy, fine motor, and creative play. For the first activity, I simply added some leftover Easter grass into a sensory bin, along with two of the Jumbo Rabbit pets, a small feeding bowl from the pet store, and some cute pretend carrots which I found at Dollar Tree.
This is such a simple invitation to play, but it blew me away that it entertained my children for so long. They had a blast pretending that the rabbits were friends who liked to play hide and seek in the grass and go on all sorts of adventures together. The real highlight was when the rabbits got hungry, and it was time for a carrot snack. The play then turned into a fun game of carrot hide and seek as well. My seven-year-old helped my four-year-old with some counting and sorting to ensure that both the rabbits had an equal number of carrots. This was wonderful to see the leadership he was taking and how well my younger one responded to learning from him.
Activity 2 Set-Up: Roll and Count Bunny Treats
For the second activity, we used two Jumbo Rabbits, two small feeding bowls, some cute little bunny erasers from Target, and our Learning Resources Dice Popper! I set up the dice and a bowl of the mini bunny erasers in the middle, and then each rabbit had their feeding bowl. I told my preschooler that the erasers were ‘bunny treats.’
This was a fun but straightforward counting game for two players. We took turns to pop the dice and say the number out loud on the die. This was great for number recognition. Then we counted that many bunny treats into our feeding bowl, ready for the Jumbo Rabbit to enjoy. We continued to take turns to pop the dice until we reached 25 treats. The first one to get that number was the winner. You can always make the number higher or lower depending on the age of your child. My four-year-old thought it was cute that she had to collect bunny treats and enjoyed some small world play after as she fed the treats to her giant rabbit. All the time, she was working her fine motor skills hard and developing early number sense.
Making number games is such a great way to help your child learn without even realizing it. The Jumbo Rabbits were perfect for this combination of imaginative play and hands-on numeracy play and learning.