Why, didn’t you know? There’s lots you can do with a Gruffalo!
“I want to play Gruffalo!” was the very random response I got when I asked Monkey what he wanted to do the other morning. Random because (1) he said play Gruffalo not read Gruffalo and (2) because we hadn’t even read the book for a while.
So how does one “play” Gruffalo? Did I need a Gruffalo dress up costume? Where would I get one of those at 7.30am in Dubai? What about a mouse, a fox, an owl and a snake? With these questions in mind I took to good old google for inspiration and before you could say “silly old fox” I had stumbled upon a Gruffalo treasure trove. The Gruffalo Official website in fact. Here you can find an array of Gruffalo themed activities suitable for various ages. From printable cards and party invitations to games, decorations and recipes. Gruffalo crumble anyone? But it’s not just The Gruffalo, there are activities for other Julia Donaldson favourites too, I’ll have to go back online another day for The Singing Mermaid and The Troll which are both bedtime favourites in our house.
For our Gruffalo playing I picked a few activities which I thought the munchkins would like. With a few clicks of my mouse and my trusty home printer I had a whole Gruffalo make and play session in my hands before the munchkins had even finished breakfast. Can’t get easier than that!
I picked the following activities:
2. Gruffalo Mask; and
I printed the mask and finger puppets onto card stock so they were a bit stiffer but they can be glued on to cardboard after printing or you can even use an empty cereal box if you don’t have any card stock at home (just remember to stick it on to the plain side so the pictures don’t show through).
These went down a storm with the munchkins. Missy made a bee line for the colouring page while Monkey set to work on colouring in the mask.
“His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he has purple prickles all over his back”
I read excerpts of the story out during the activity to give Monkey clues as to the colours he should be using to colour in the mask. This could have been a nice colour and body part recognition exercise except that Monkey decided the Gruffalo would look much better with pink flowers stamped, and red circles drawn, all over his face.
Tip – If you want the Gruffalo mask to look anything like the Gruffalo from the book, I suggest you only get out the correct colours rather than leave the whole box of colours out there as I did.
This was another one of those times where I had to force myself to let go of my own ideas of how things should be and let him decorate the Gruffalo however he wanted. Once he was done colouring I cut out the eyes and mouth and we taped on a handle (we used a drumstick, the instructions say use a pencil and I would think you can also use popsical sticks, anything little hands can easily hold). Monkey loved the mask and we took turns pretending to be the Grufflo as we walked through the forest (or rather our house). There is also a mouse mask on the site so two people can get in character. These masks would make a perfect craft activity for a Gruffalo themed birthday party too.
The finger puppets were also super easy, just cut out and add a little tape to the bottom to make a finger loop and you have a whole set of characters at your fingers ready for some imaginative play and creative story telling.
So there you go, in no time at all we did figure out how to “play” Gruffalo and I spent the rest of the day reciting the catchy rhymes from the book, which I just could not get out of my head. Silly old mummy! Doesn’t she know, there’s no such thing as a Gruffalo?
Have you read The Gruffalo to your little one? Are you going to give these activities a try? Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.