Gruffalo play date – May 2016

To start off our Gruffalo week we watched the Gruffalo and Gruffalo Child movies and Elyse got a new puzzle.  We then took a trip to meet the characters in Colin Glen Forest.

Although i didnt manage to take many pictures we spent the week working through a Gruffalo printable pack – the matching, colouring and sequencing activities were just at the right level for them both.

After putting it off for quite some time i decided to face the dreaded Gruffalo play date.  I love the story but with such distinctive characters and imagery it was hard for me to come up with activities that were sufficiently close to the book for me to be happy with them.

But eventually it came together and i was pleased with how it turned out.

When all 10 kids had arrived we started with a few clips from the Gruffalo movie – youtube gruffalo.  They were mesmerised and i began to wonder if i should have just put my feet up and let them watch the whole thing.

Next we moved outside for small world play and the gruffalo cave.  Using my brand new tuff spot tray i created a gruffalo world and a gruffalo child world.

The Gruffalo forest was complete with each of the characters that Kealan and Elyse got for Christmas, a tree, lots of pine cones, leaves, branches, foam toadstools, a gerbil log toy, a tissue paper river and stones. It was set out with pretty perfect tree trunk stepping ‘stones’ to use as stools.  I was over the moon with it but unfortunately the kids couldn’t have cared less and charged around the garden instead. Ah well.

The gruffalo child small world consisted of fake snow made from corn flour and hair conditioner placed over salt dough “tracks in the snow” I’d made and painted white. There was another river made from silver organza and rocks and a salt dough gruffalo cave and the toy gruffalos child. The messy factor attracted the kids to this tray more than the other one but the footprint details were a bit lost on them. All in all the small world weren’t a huge success for two reasons, the novelty of being outside allowed more space to roam and therefore less focus especially from the older boys and also they might not be quite at the age to play with these yet. However, I do not mind, I loved them!


The gruffalo cave was a tent covered with blankets and I stuffed our gruffalo costume to sit outside the entrance on some logs. The kids seemed to like this and the little ones were quite excited about being brave enough to touch the gruffalo.


Our next activity was the first part of our main craft activity – a gruffalo tree. The wooden trees were brilliant and only 85p each. The kids (and mums) diligently painted them brown and left them to dry.


Next we made gruffalo crumble. Each child was given a snack bag filled with cornflakes to crush. We then added green rainbow drops for poisonous warts, orange m&m’s for eyes, liquorice for black tongue, white mini marshmallows for terrible teeth and mum had mad small purple triangles out of icing sugar for purple prickles. While the kids made/ate their perfect combination I melted butter and marshmallows and poured a little in each bowl for them to mix in. Yummy gruffalo crumbles.


For our next activity each child was given a sand art owl. This was the first time we had used these and they were great. Took a bit of figuring out how to do them well but the kids loved it and the mums loved it more. Each owl came with several colours of sand and the mums peeled off an area of the owl to reveal the sticky underneath. The kids were then able to pour on the sand to colour the picture. The mess was immense and the sand stained everything but I still loved the process and the results.


Our now dry trees were ready for the next step. The kids added felt leaf stickers and then glue dots were used to stick on the laminated gruffalo characters to make a gruffalo tree.

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We finished with lunch. Sandwiches, crisps, fruit, scones and gruffalo cake of course. Thanks to all the wonderful kids and mums who joined us.


The party favours were 2016 gruffalo annuals for each child and a gruffalo family planner for the mums.

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