A Bounty of Bunnies!

It’s a bounty of bunnies bunnies bunnies in a basket basket basket! This simple project is both a hide and seek AND pattern game! Plus…rainbow bunnies. Rainbow bunnies are just awesome.

We read The Runaway Bunny, written by Margaret Wise Brown, and illustrated by Clement Hurd (HarperCollins, 1942). A little bunny poses a series of runaway-from-home scenarios, thwarted each time by his equally imaginative mother!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large tissue box
  • White poster board or card stock
  • 6 toilet paper tubes
  • A selection of construction paper
  • Scissors, stapler and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating

First, the bunny basket.Cut the top off a large tissue box, then add a poster board handle and some construction paper ears, eyes, nose, and tail. Your bunnies are toilet paper tubes wrapped with construction paper. Six bunnies, six rainbow colors!

To play the hide and seek game, have a grown up or older sibling hide the little bunnies around the house. Then, ask your story time kid to find them and tuck them into the big bunny basket. For a pattern game variation, cut color cards out of construction paper, then shuffle them and ask your child to find the bunnies in the order of the color cards!

The Runaway Bunny was selected by a little girl who aged out of our Tiger Tales story time. It’s a big favorite of hers, so Emmalyn…this project is for you!


As a precautionary measure, Princeton University closed the gallery of the Cotsen Children’s Library until further notice, and our children’s programming as been suspended during this closure. Until our library reopens, the blog will post once a week. So every Tuesday, please check in to see what we’re up to…from story time projects to awesome interviews!

Take the Cake

take the cakeA trio of birds has invaded your kitchen, intent on repeatedly interrupting your bonding with a baked good. Can you get the birds out of the kitchen and still take the cake?

We read Marigold Bakes a Cake by Mike Malbrough (Philomel Books, 2017). On Monday, Marigold the cat ALWAYS bakes. With no distractions, Marigold measures and mixes the ingredients just so. Everything is going well…until birds start unexpectedly visiting his kitchen. This drives uber-organized Marigold more and more crazy until he finally loses it in a total feline frenzy. Can the birds and Marigold reach a cake-appreciating middle ground? Hilariously, as it turns out, they cannot.

This project was designed for a little girl who has been coming to Tiger Tales for 3 years! Marigold Bakes a Cake was the (totally awesome) book she selected for her final visit with us. Diana, this one’s for you!

You’ll need:

  • 1 small tissue box
  • 1 small paper plate
  • 1 paper cup
  • 3 toilet paper tubes
  • Construction paper
  • 1 cardboard box kitchen (more on this later!)
  • Scissors, tape, and glue for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

First, the cake! This was a small tissue box decorated with construction paper and marker. We also added pom-poms, fabric flowers, and ribbons for more texture. The cake stand is a small paper plate flipped over, and hot glued to a similarly flipped paper cup. We used patterned tape to decorate the cake stand, but markers work great too!

cake on standTo make the birds, wrap 3 toilet paper tubes with construction paper and add paper wings. Optional: self-adhesive foam beaks, eye stickers, and feather crests. Or, just use markers to add features to your birds.

cake birds Once you have your cake, cake stand, and birds, it’s time to play the kitchen game! Katie and I used a bunch of recycled boxes to build a kitchen with a fridge, counter, sink, range, and oven.

front of kitchenCut into the back of the set were little trap doors. The trap doors (and the hole in the sink) allowed me to sneak the toilet paper tube birds into the kitchen.

back of kitchen Ready to play the kitchen game? First, kids handed me their birds and placed their cakes on the counter. Then, they took 10 steps back to the starting line. I would hide 1 bird in the kitchen and shout “The bird’s in the freezer!” The kid would race forward, find the bird, and run back to the starting line. We repeated this, using different kitchen locations, until all 3 birds were captured. The prize was their cake!

grab the birdsIf you don’t have time to construct a kitchen, simply tape images of kitchen elements onto boxes. Then drop the birds into the boxes for the kids to locate.

An Ape About Town

ape about town

New York City is the place to be, especially if you are an ape who has escape the Central Park Zoo and are determined to take in all the sights! He’s wearing a disguise and the master of hiding – can you find Marvin the Ape?

We read The Escape of Marvin the Ape by Caralyn and Mark Buehner (Dial Books, 1992). It’s feeding time, and Marvin makes his move. Leaving a baffled zookeeper behind, Marvin enthusiastically explores the subways, museums, restaurants, shops, and parks of New York City. He’s definitely not going back to his former life, and what’s more, Helvetica the Hippo is hot on the heels of his success!

You’ll need:

  • 1 large oatmeal container
  • Construction paper
  • 1 paper bowl
  • Scissors, glue, and tape for construction
  • Markers for decorating
  • Hot glue

This is a simple project and a hide-and-seek game to boot! You can construct your oatmeal container ape entirely using construction paper, or you can add a few things like dot sticker eyes and a self-adhesive foam nose with dot sticker nostrils.

finished apeThe baseball cap is a trimmed paper bowl with a card stock (or construction paper) brim. We recommend using hot glue to attach the hat and the feet to the oatmeal container.

ape baseball hatThe baseball hat is just one optional for headgear of course. We basically gave the kids a bowl, a strip of white construction paper “shirt” and the Bling Bin and let them put together whatever ape disguise they wanted.Check out this feathery tiara and killer eye shadow!

fancy apeWhen everyone was done decorating, we played a game of Hot/Cold Hide-and-Seek. Kids hid their apes around our gallery and invited their grown-ups to find them. The kids gave hints if the grown-ups were getting “hot” or “cold.” Hiding games are always popular at our story times. One enthusiastic group played for over 15 minutes!

hiding apes