Why should kids get all the fun this Easter weekend? We have designed a great rabbit hunting game, which can be easily crafted from items around the home and then played with inside or out.
What you will need:
Fabric (we used wool offcuts from our settle mats), embroidery thread, needle, scissors, rabbit pattern printed on paper (click here to download PDF pattern)
Or a brown envelope, scissors, glue stick and marker pen (scroll down to see the envelope version)
What to do
First print out the PDf pattern onto paper and cut out the three pieces. Place the pieces onto your chosen fabric and pin in place. Cut around the pieces leaving a 1cm margin around each pattern piece.
Take Piece A, either stitch or drawer eyes and a nose.
Place Piece A, face side down, onto your worktop, then layer up the pieces, putting piece B and then C on top. Pin together, then using embroidery thread use a simple running stitch to sew the three pieces together.
If you have any polyester stuffing you can plump up the face a little and then add a pretty bow or other accessory.
Once happy with the appearance of your toy, slip a treat into the back pocket of the rabbit. Please not this is not a toy your dog should be left unattended with it is for use with you during retrieval/'find it' training games.
How to Play Rabbit Hunt
To start with get your dog to retrieve the toy from a close distance, so that if they decide to help themself to the treat, you can intercept!
Once they have got the idea of returning the rabbit to you = treat, start challenging them with placing the rabbit slightly further away or in slightly trickier places. Don't make to too hard too fast though!
Dogs should always be set up for success.
End the game before they get bored. We have one dog who loves this game and would play for hours and another who will do 3 retrieves and then is done.
No sew envelope version
You could always use a new or used A5 brown envelope. Cut out pattern piece A ONLY and draw around it onto the envelope. Cut around the shape leaving you with a front and back piece.
Take the back piece and draw a line. Using scissors fold the line/back piece in half and snip along the line.
Now put the front and back pieces back together and using a non-toxic glue stick, glue the two pieces together, glueing around the edges only. Using a permanent marker, draw the rabbit's eyes and nose. Once the glue has dried insert the treat into the slit in the back of the rabbit. You are now ready to play!