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Kids Hideout Activity
- Watch bunnies in action: Fortunately, over half of the world’s bunny population resides in North America. Rabbits live in meadows, forests, wetlands, grasslands and even deserts. If you have a garden, you may know all too well that there are bunnies around. Popular prey, rabbits spend most of the day underground. They are most active early and late in the day, especially along the fringes of fields and roadside cover, where thick vegetation provides relatively safe feeding.
- Read about bunnies: If you can find one, read a story that stars rabbits and gives kids a greater sense of how rabbits live. Here are a few examples: The poems, They Are Sleeping and He as well as the section Rabbits and Foxes in Joyce Sidman's beautiful Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow; Home for a Bunny written by Margaret Wise Brown (author of Goodnight Moon and The Big Red Barn); Mel Boring’s Rabbits, Squirrels, And Chipmunks: Take Along Guide.
- Play a quick game of Bunny, Bunny, Fox!: Playing a game can help even the smallest child understand the predator/prey relationship between foxes and bunnies, an idea central to this activity. You’ll need 4+ kids to play. Just like Duck, Duck, Goose, but the child who taps heads is a bunny. She says, "Bunny" each time until she taps someone on the head and says, “Fox!” That “fox” chases her around the circle and back to her seat. To add a twist, have the “bunny” and “fox” try to run in a zig-zag formation, since that is how rabbits move to escape from predators.
- Set up the challenge: Grab the stuffed animal you brought along and suggest, “Let’s pretend this is a real bunny. And, let's say it’s getting late in the day. A hungry fox is on his way. What could happen to the bunny? What kind of hideout would a bunny like to have to escape from the fox? What kind of home or hide out can we build for this bunny to keep it safe?"
- Set criteria: Chat a bit to generate a list of the criteria needed for a good house. Some examples: big enough to fit the bunny; easy for the bunny to get in and out of; bunny can’t be seen from the outside; withstands wind, rain, etc.
- Guide as they build: Let kids drive as much of this as they can, given their age and capacities. But, what does that look like? Support your child but in such a way that he has the experience of being in command and following his own imagination. Ask him questions about his plan. Help to gather the materials he has decided to use and suggest new ideas for materials. Tell him that you are happy to help if something is too challenging to lift, place or move. Remind him about the criteria for what makes a good bunny house. The important thing is that you and your child both feel that he or she is master of the mission.
- Involve younger siblings (ages 2-4): Welcome them to gather materials, help the team arrange the materials, test the design and make adjustments.
- Use the hole in the bottom of a tree and cover it with branches, greens, etc.
- Make a small lean-to against a tree using sticks covered with leaves and grasses
- Dig a hole and build a stick and mud roof over the hole