Hop Along Li’l Bunny

Do you have a case of the wiggles this winter? So does this little bunny! Press down on its head to watch it hop and bobble. Originally spotted on Instagram as an octopus, we re-imagined the project as a rabbit…and all it takes is 2 paper cups and some poster board!

We recommend reading Hop Little Bunnies (Bloomsbury, 2020), written by Martha Mumford and illustrated by Laura Hughes (read here by Kids & Company). The little bunnies are sleeping until noon, but when they wake, they traipse through barnyard, waking the other animals until it’s a cacophony of cheeps, meows, quacks, and so forth. Full of animal sounds, this one is sure to get the audience reading along with you! And for the musically inclined, you can try the singing version on the publisher’s official channel.

You’ll need:

  • 2 papers cups
  • White paper for rabbit ears
  • 2 strips of 1″ x 13″ poster board
  • Scissors and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

This project is essentially two cups stacked on top of one another with a paper spring in the middle. To begin, flip both cups upside down, then use markers to draw a face on the first cup. Add some paper ears (and an optional pom-pom nose if you desire!). Use scissors to cut bunny legs on the second cup.

Now for the paper spring! Take two, 1″ x 13″ strips of poster board and put them corner to corner at a 90 degree angle, like so…

Keeping the corners together, alternately fold each strip up towards you. Continue until the strips are completely folded into an accordion spring. Tape the end sections together for more stability.

Sometimes it’s easier to show then tell, so here’s Katie’s demonstrating her her awesome paper spring folding skills:


You can secure the spring to the bottom cup with tape or glue, or leave it loose for some extra wiggle. To finish, place the bunny head cup on top the body cup. Then press and release the bunny’s head to watch it bounce!

Original octopus project credit goes to strange_side_of_crafting on Instagram!

Studio Snapshots: David Deen

Today we’re featuring David Deen, the amazing illustrator of Tolo, Cotsen’s digital adventure! Furiously sketching and coloring owlbears and nagas from his brother’s D&D books, David also grew up reading fantasy books. After earning a BA in Art, David worked as a computer game artist before going freelance. We asked him to give us a quick tour of his Colorado studio (and we get to meet his cats)!


As my art has shifted to being mostly digital, my studio space has shrunk to a fairly compact little space in the corner of my basement. I still have a sketchbook for initial concept sketching and printouts of the information I need to reference. And we have two cats that keep me company as I work, Summer (shown above) and Smudge.

Most of the work is done on my iPad Pro, where I use a couple of different programs designed to provide the look of traditional media with the benefits of easy revisions and no loss of quality from the artwork being photographed or scanned.

While I’m working on the illustrations, I use the computer to find reference photos and look up information I might need… and to entertain my ears with music. Once the final images are created, I send them straight to the computer through Dropbox. Then I can finalize the files, send them to the client, and do all of the other business involved in illustration.

The studio for creating traditional artwork is currently being used as a guest bedroom; the drafting table is folded down and the supplies are all put away. I hope to get back in there in the new year and make some paintings again, but in the meantime, my little digital corner of the basement is enough to keep me making all the artwork I need.


Images courtesy of David Deen

Barnyard Pinball

It’s a merry chase! Use your motor skills to navigate a yellow pom-pom hen around the barnyard. But beware the red pom-pom fox, who’s also on a roll!

We read Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins (Aladdin, 1971 read here by Miss Gray Educates). Rosie the Hen decided to take a little stroll around the farm, not realizing that she’s being followed by a hungry fox. Fortunately for Rosie, the Fox’s luck is horrible. He runs into misfortune after misfortune in pursuit of his chicken lunch. Happily, Rosie makes it back to her coop, none the wiser. The wordless sight gags on each page had our kids chuckling!

This book also gets a gold star rating from Katie. It was her son’s FAVORITE as a kid!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large box top (like a copy paper box lid)
  • 1 paper towel tube
  • 1 small box
  • 1 paper cup
  • Construction paper
  • 2 large pom-poms
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

As you can see in the above photo, we used a copy paper box lid as the base of our barnyard. Then we glued a number of elements in place. The bee hive was a paper cup with an arched door. The haystack was a construction paper tunnel. The ramp was a paper towel tube, cut in half length-wise and elevated with a snippet of the remaining tube. The hen house was a small box with the lid positioned as a ramp, also elevated with a snippet of paper towel tube. We added a pond, fabric flowers, and tissue paper shrubs as well.

With all the obstacles complete, drop two jumbo pom-poms into the box lid. We thought about decorating these like a fox and hen, but they rolled much easier as simple poms.

With your poms in place, commence the chase! Tip and jiggle the box lid to make the fox and hen race around the barnyard, ducking into buildings and rolling up ramps.