Use these free printable bunny shape mats to teach children about shapes, all while strengthening their hands and fingers. Be sure to add it to your list of Easter activities for toddlers and preschoolers.
Related: Free Preschool Printables
“Little bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest . . .”
I have to admit, that song has been stuck in my head the entire time we’ve used these rabbit shapes. Hopefully it’s not stuck in your head now, too!
If you’re a regular Fun-A-Day reader, you know I’m not a fan of preschool worksheets . . . but I do love a good printable. Coupled with hands-on activities, printables are great tools to have in the ol’ teaching arsenal. Bonus if the printables can be used multiple ways.
And these printable bunny shape mats can definitely be used a few different ways. I’ll share how we use them below, but feel free to put your own creative spin on them. And then tell me about it, as I’m always looking for new ideas.
Bunny Shape Mats
Here’s how to make your own set of printable rabbit shapes to use with the kids.
While I know rabbits make everyone think of Easter, these shape mats also work well during a general spring theme, a forest theme, a pet theme, or whenever the kids are learning more about animals.
Materials for the Rabbit Shapes
You might not need all of these materials, but here’s what we used:
Prepping the Bunny Shape Printable
Print out whichever mats you’d like to use. Print them on card stock to make the mats thicker, but regular printer paper will work just fine.
I highly suggest that you laminate the mats. If you want, back them with some colorful construction paper before laminating them, as well. We just left the mats as is this time around.
If you don’t want to laminate them, place the shape mats in dry erase pockets to ensure they last longer. If using play dough, the laminated versions work best.
Then grab the other materials you want to use along with the bunny mats, and you’re good to go!
How to Use the Printable Rabbit Shapes
As I mentioned above, the bunny shape mats can be used multiple ways. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Bring on the play dough to strengthen little hands
Play dough was the first thing we brought out to use with the bunnies. While I love making my own play dough, this time around it was just easier to grab some store bought. Either works just fine with the rabbit shapes.
You can set the (laminated!) shape mats out and let the kids explore them however they want when it comes to the play dough.
Strike up a conversation about the different shapes found on each bunny mat. Laugh a little, as they are rather silly looking bunnies. Encourage the children to use the play dough to form the shape of each bunny mat.
Let the kids add all the extras too, if they want – ears, eyes, whiskers, etc. The kids could even use the play dough to trace over the shape description at the top of each mat.
Suggest that the children craft little shape bunnies to go with each mat. As always, it’s fun to watch and see how the kids extend an activity like this.
Use mini erasers for fine motor practice
Many young children love using mini erasers. I have to admit, preschool teachers have a blast with them too! Or is that just me? Set out the printable bunny shapes (clean of any play dough!), along with mini erasers. We got our mini erasers from Target. You can likely find some on Amazon or at The Dollar Tree, too.
Encourage the children to use the little erasers to trace around the edge of each bunny shape. For an extra challenge, have the kids count how many erasers it took to make the shapes. They might also point out smaller shapes they find (like the little triangle bunny nose)!
The erasers can also be used to make the shape words at the top of the mat. Encourage the kids to try to make their own, smaller versions of the shapes with the erasers.
Use math manipulatives too
Math manipulatives pair well with the printable shape mats, too! Grab some Unifix cubes or counting bears. Then have the kids use the manipulatives to fill in the rabbit shapes.
Related: Carrot Garden Sensory Bin
Take it another step and have the children count how many items fit inside each shape. This works well with so many different materials. Why not try it with some loose parts you have on-hand too?
Dry eraser markers for early writing practice
Grab some colorful dry erase markers to pair with the bunny shape mats. Have the children trace over the large shapes on the big bunnies, as well as the small shapes on the smaller rabbits.
Related: Flower Shape Mats
You can also have the kids trace over the shape words at the top of the mats, or perhaps they’d like to write the words independently. Children might also want to use the dry erase markers to just draw over and around the shape mats. I think that’s perfectly fine, too!
Spring and Easter Lesson Plans
If you’re a busy teacher (and I suppose having the word “busy” there is a bit redundant . . . aren’t all teachers busy?), I’d love for you to check out the many done-for-you teacher resources we have at Preschool Teacher 101.
Related: Easter Literacy Activities
Grab the Free Bunny Shape Mats
The shape rabbit mats are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s email community. If you’re already a member, enter your email on the form below, and the printable will be sent to your inbox.
Not a member? No worries! Enter your information on the form below to join us (and get the shape mats as a thank you freebie).
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Originally published March 27, 2018.