Summer Learning – The Gruffalo

This Gruffalo playdate was so much fun! My dear friend who planned this did a phenomenal job. She is all about sensory play and didn’t disappoint. I have loved having a few structured activities this summer for my little ones. It’s amazing how much changes when we don’t have the structure of school. When we have planned activities these little people respond with better behavior. We love summer (except for the hot AZ heat) but a tiny bit of structure is imperative!


We started off by reading The Gruffalo since not all of the kiddos had heard it.


Gruffalo Sensory:

She created this really fun sensory box that had all of the elements of “The Gruffalo” that was a huge hit with the younger kids but even the older children enjoyed it for a bit.



Idea Source

The older kids also really enjoyed playing with the kits that were made to be the Owl Ice Cream, Scrambled Snake and Roasted Fox. The Owl Ice Cream was really fun because it was white playdough and she used feathers and googly eyes for them to add to it in order to make the “Owl Ice Cream”. Because it is open-ended this got a lot of play time.


IMG_5614Idea Source

Fine Motor:

She found a really cute idea on Pinterest to clip the purple spikes on the Gruffalo for fine motor practice. She didn’t see anywhere that offered it as a download so she used a picture of a Gruffalo, cut the spikes off and made her own purple spikes out of cardstock and paper clips. This is a great fine motor skill disguised as just another playtime activity! I love it when they have so much fun that they don’t even realize they are doing something good for them.




 Imaginative Play:

The kids didn’t have a chance to play with this but she also found really cute Gruffalo Story telling mats. This is the kind of thing that is great for a quiet time activity if anyone needs it! We love using story telling mats because it gives those little minds an opportunity to get creative. It is also great because they learn about putting things in the right order (beginning, middle and end).


Printables used

Get Active:

We like to get them up and around once their little attention spans are stalled. This was a great activity to do in between to get them active both mentally and physically. They each had sheets where she had put printed pictures of the characters from the book, then they had to find the same matching pictures taped to the wall. This might have been the favorite activity of the day because they had a goal to find their matching pictures. Of course they got a little competitive but they even had fun helping their friends find their matches as well.

































Idea and Printable Source


To represent The Gruffalo Crumble talked about in the book she made muddy buddies! It’s always great to end with a treat in my humble opionion. The kids didn’t mind either 😉 While we ate the delicious Gruffalo Crumble we watched the movie of The Gruffalo. Everyone was so wound up with excitement that this was a great way to end the playdate and calm down a little before we left. If you haven’t watched it yet you should. It’s great because it is a retelling of the story but slowly and with great animation. It kept everyones attention the entire time.



She sent us home with some really cute finger puppets that I forgot to photograph but listed the source below.

Idea Source

Feel free to use these ideas to put together a fun playdate with your friends or just your little ones!  This would be great to do on any school break really. You could do it on Fall break and add some fun dress up too! Think how cute it would be to dress up as a Gruffalo. Or even the mouse, snake, owl or fox! There’s really a lot that can be done with this theme.