The goal of this activity is to work on deep breathing using their stuffed rabbit. By imitating the breathing examples, the child will learn how to take soothing breaths. They will also gain sensory input from squeezing the rice in the rabbit.
Let's make a sock rabbit! This little friend can be used when you need some extra help calming down. After you finish this activity, you will know how to take deep breaths with the help of your bunny. Breathing is an important skill to learn. It can help us relax and calm down. Even adults like to practice deep breathing! Your little bunny friend is a great tool to keep close to you to practice breathing when you feel like it would help you.
1 Tall sock (7” from ankle to heel, 5.5” from heel to toe)
Rice (1½ cups)
2 Pipe Cleaners (Color doesn’t matter)
Markers (Black and optional pink)
Medium size funnel
Measuring cups to scoop the rice (1 cup and 1/2 cup)
Step 1: First we will make the body of the bunny. This will be done by pouring rice into the sock. I will use a funnel to make this step easier for me. Lay your sock on the table and put a funnel into the opening. Hold onto the top of the sock with the small part of the funnel inside it with the hand you don’t use to write with.
Step 2: Scoop 1 cup of rice into your funnel using the 1 cup measuring cup. Be extra sure you’re holding onto the top of the sock tightly so the rice doesn’t fall out! If you’re not sure which measuring cup to use, ask an adult for help! Look to make sure the body is the size you like. If you want your bunny to be bigger, add some more rice! Once it is the size you would like, we need to tie the sock closed so the rice doesn’t fall out. To do this, we will use a pipe cleaner. Grab your adult to help you with this part, because the rice is loose we want to be extra sure we don’t drop it on the ground. Have an adult hold the sock so it’s not resting on the table. You want to make sure all the rice is in a pile in the toe of the sock. Right above the rice, you want to tie your pipe cleaner around the sock, to keep all the rice inside the bottom of the sock. Wrap your pipe cleaner around the sock and twist it tightly 3 times. It’s probably a bit too long, mine had a lot of extra pipe cleaner sticking straight out. After you’ve twisted it tight, cut off the rest of the pipe cleaner.
Step 3: Next, we will make the head. Rest the sock on the table and place the funnel into the opening of the sock. Pour ½ cup of rice into the funnel using the ½ cup measuring cup. Just like before, you can add some more if you want it to be a bit bigger. You should still have a bit of loose sock left over, you don’t want to fill your sock to the top because you need that extra material to make the bunny’s ears! We need to tie the top closed with a pipe cleaner so the rice does not fall out of the bunny. Have an adult hold the extra sock straight up, so it’s not flopping and the rice does not fall out. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the sock, right above the rice. Twist it tightly three times. Cut off the extra pipe cleaner that is not twisted.
Step 4 (Optional): This next step will be tying a bow around the bunny. If you don’t want a bow or you don’t know how to tie one, you can just skip this step! First, cut a piece of ribbon as long as a 12-inch ruler. Wrap your ribbon around the middle of the rice filled sock, where the body meets the head. Tie a pretty bow using the ribbon. You will do this just like you tie your shoe! If you’re not sure, Ask an adult if you need some help.
Step 5: Next, we will make the ears. Lay the bunny down so the head is closest to you and the loose extra sock above the bunny’s head is flat on the table in front of you. It might not be all the way flat, because the bunny is lumpy, but that’s okay. Using your marker, draw a V on the sock. Each line of the V should start in the corner of the top of the sock and the bottom of the V should end at the top of the bunny’s head. After you have drawn the lines use your scissors to cut them out!
Step 6: Next, you can draw a face on your bunny friend! Use whatever color marker you want to draw what you’d like your bunny to look like. I made two eyes, a little nose, a smile, and some whiskers. I also colored the ears pink in the middle, because usually the inside of a rabbit’s ears are a different color than the outside.
Now that you have made your little bunny friend, it’s time to learn how to use it! We will use our bunny to practice how to take deep breaths. Deep breathing is important because it can help us relax and calm down in moments when we feel overwhelmed. There are two types of breathing you can use with your bunny!
Type 1: This type of breathing focuses on the soft feeling of the bunny’s ears. Pick up each ear with your pointer finger and thumb. One ear should be in your right hand and the other ear should be in your left hand. You want your two fingers at the bottom of each ear. Start with your right hand and slowly slide your fingers up the side of that ear, breathing in the whole time. Once you get to the top of the ear, switch to your left hand and slide your fingers up the other ear, breathing out as you go. Do this a couple of times on each ear and try to notice how you feel afterward!
Type 2: Another way to practice breathing by using your bunny is to squeeze it! This can help you to squeeze your feelings out while practicing calming breaths. Since your bunny is filled with rice so it feels nice to squeeze. All you have to do is hold the bunny in your hands and give it a nice tight squeeze. The whole time you are squeezing, you should breathe in. When you feel like you’ve squeezed long enough, slowly relax your hands and breathe out while you let go. Do this a couple of times and then try to notice how you feel when you’re done!
Your bunny friend is nice a little so you can bring it with you to school in your backpack, keep it next to your bed, keep it in the car, or wherever you feel like you might need it most! You can also name your bunny, I named mine Lola bunny. If you practice enough, you can even take deep breaths without your bunny. You will keep using your breathing skills for the rest of your life, so practice practice practice!
~ Made By: Emily H.