Home Made Toy: Tumbling Bunnies

Tumbling Bunnies

When I first read about this home-made toy, Tumbling Bunnies, on Made By Joel, I was eager to try it. It looked like such a great way to explore gravity as well as cause and effect.

I didn't imagine, however, that it would be so much fun.

Actually, I could describe the tumbling bunnies as 'bizarre' because they seem to take on a life of their own.

Needless to say, our boys loved it ... as did I!

How to Make Tumbling Bunnies

Step One

Print out the template from Tumble Bunnies: Made By Joel .

Step Two

Glue the bunny templates onto cardboard and then cut the templates out.
Tumbling Bunnies

Note: I traced a couple extra templates onto blank cardboard with the idea that the boys might enjoy making their own designs on these tumbling toys.

The boys were convinced that the bright colours (lightening strikes) they'd drawn on theirs designs made them go faster.

Step Three

Tumbling Bunnies

Fold the tumbling toy and stick it together, according to the fold lines, with sticky tape. Before sealing off the last side, insert two marbles.

Step Four

Tumbling Bunnies

Make a ramp to tumble the bunnies down. We used a piece of wood ply which we elevated on the back of a chair.

Disappointment ... It Didn't Work
For the first two tumbling bunnies, we used glass marbles inside them.

However, we found that the marbles were too light. When we went to tumble the toys down a ramp, they slid down rather than tumbled.

I tried adding a towel and anything else to try and provide a bit of friction, but we didn't have anything that was suitable.

At this stage, it seemed as if the whole activity was doomed to failure.

The Secret Trick
However, we discovered a trick that made the whole thing work like magic.
Tumbling Bunnies

We swapped the light glass marbles with a couple of metal marbles (from the boys' magnetic construction set). The metal marbles were considerably heavier than the glass marbles.
Tumbling Bunnies

The result ... they tumbling bunnies worked perfectly! We didn't even need anything on top of the ply to stop them from sliding.

I think it would be fair to say, this activity transformed from a failure to a success! Hooray!
Tumbling Bunnies

The boys spent ages playing with these tumbling toys ... which is just as well because it took me ages to finally get video footage that could be considered viewable. Let's just say, my photography skills are still developing!
Tumbling Bunnies

We can highly recommend this activity.

Just remember to use heavy metal marbles and it'll work just fine. Have fun!

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Science Investigation Using Friction
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Return to the Articles List for other children's learning activities or children's book reviews.

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