Some of you may be familiar with our pet bunnies, Gus and Lucy.
Since last year, I have been working with the children to learn how to care for the rabbits. They are so eager to help and interact in any way that they can, so I’ve started a rotation of children who are my bunny helpers for the day.
Every afternoon (and some mornings), I bring the rabbits out and put them in the pen in the grass. For a couple weeks the children and I only observed. We talked at length about the rabbits and the ways we could pet, touch, and interact.
The children had a lot of interesting observations, ideas and TONS of questions. Here is one conversation we had while sitting and watching the rabbits one afternoon:
CCJ: Those are baby bunnies
IO: And look how long he gets when he jumps, when he tries to jump up there.
Amber: You notice that his body gets really long, IO
IO: Yeah, does the other one’s?
Amber: Yeah, her body is a little bit smaller than his so it doesn’t stretch as long. What do you notice about the bunnies, EP?
EP: It’s kind of long or something. They like some food and the box. They like to chew and eat food and leaves. They like to go in the box.
Amber: Why do you think they like to go in that box?
EP: Cause they like the box
IO: And they love the box
Amber: Hmm, Why?
CCJ: Because they think you might feed them
IO: And because they might like it in there.
Amber: NC, why do you think they like it in that box?
NC: (whispering) because it’s covered
Amber: Because it’s covered?
IO: Yeah and because they might want some privacy
Amber: Like maybe they need some space?
NC: Yeah, from each other
Amber: From each other and maybe from us too
NC: They like sticks
EP: They chomp on the sticks
CCJ: Maybe they might be scared
Amber: Scared of what?
CCJ: People. Scared of people I think, so they go in there
EP: Maybe they might be scared of us
Amber: Do you think if we move too fast or make loud noises they might feel scared of us?
Amber: Do you think that Gus is scared right now?
EP: What is the other bunny?
Amber: Lucy is the small gray one that just came out of the house and Gus is the big brown one.
CCJ: They’re going in there? Why do you think they go in there?
EP: They’re playing together
CCJ: How does Gus dig? Why is he going in there? Maybe he’s scared of us
EP: He’s snuggling her! They’re just snuggling
CCJ: Maybe they’re playing hide and seek. They like mint but they don’t like carrots
After many days of watching, discussing and asking questions, I held a circle in the afternoon. We had a conversation about what rabbits need, what they like, and decided on some appropriate and safe ways to interact with the rabbits.
Finally, they were able to pet, feed, and hold the rabbits after so much patient waiting!