Bunny and Carrot Manipulatives for Learning and Play

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With Easter being right around the corner, we started doing some fun crafts and activities to get ready.  It’s hard to believe that Easter is on it’s way already.  This year is flying by and for this pregnant Aunt, it seems like it’s going so fast (but at the same time, so slow!) 
These bunny cuties were easy to make and have been seen a lot in our play time recently.  This isn’t the first time that we’ve made Easter Bunny manipulatives.  So WHAT is a manipulative?? (Even spell check doesn’t know, so maybe we should explain…) These cute little bunny manipulatives can be used for so many fun activities: counting, patterning, sorting, arranging…so much learning can happen with little objects that kids can manipulate.  I’ve caught baby Girl playing with these bunnies and carrots as she made them talk to each other.  What a great way to work on language and conversation!  Throw these bunnies and carrots into a sensory bin and you’ve got a sensory activity where the kids can explore textures and senses. 
There are SO many ways these manipulatives can be used in learning and play.  Here’s what we did:
Easter bunny and carrot craft for kids
We received the pipe cleaners free from www.craftprojectideas.com.  They came in handy for this activity!

How to make a pipe cleaner Easter Bunny:

Fold the pipe cleaner to make Bunny ears.
To start, I created a handful of Easter Bunnies using off-white pipe cleaners.  It’s not hard to do…
Bend the pipe cleaner to make two bunny ears.

Ben a pipe cleaner to form an Easter Bunny
Twist the pipe cleaner around and through the first “ear”, then through the second “ear”.  The second ear is not a complete loop, so the tail end of the pipe cleaner doesn’t really go through the ear.  You’ll pinch the pipe cleaner so it stays put.  See the next picture.

How to make an Easter Bunny using a pipe cleaner
Pinch the “ears” in place and pull the long end strait down.  Thread a pink bead onto the pipe cleaner for the bunny’s nose.

Use these pipe cleaner Easter bunnies and carrots for pretend play and counting activities
Wrap the long end of the pipe cleaner strait up and around your thumb.  Repeat twice, making one loop to the right of the bead and one loop to the left of the bead.  Your bunny is done!  Pinch it so it stays in place.  You can kind of squash the bunny down to make it stay put.

counting, sorting, patterns with pipe cleaner Easter bunny and carrot manipulatives.
The carrots are just a piece of an orange pipe cleaner bent into a carrot shape and a small piece of green pipe cleaner  twisted around to make a stem.  Super easy to make.
Make a handful of each and you’re ready for counting, patterns, sorting, adding, and subtracting…
How many ways can you think of to learn and play with these guys?
Pipe cleaner Easter Bunny and carrots for pretend play


Our bunnies have been found all over the house this last week.  The carrots made their way into the Little People house and eaten by the Lalaloopsy friends.  The bunny manipulatives have even been caught hanging out with a few Ninja Turtles! 
Let us know if you make these bunny and carrot manipulatives.  We would love to see how you’re learning and playing!