Monday, March 18, 2013

The Gruffalo {Julia Donaldson Virtual Book Club for Kids Blog Hop}

This month we are spotlighting books by Julia Donaldson for our Virtual Book Club for Kids. Julia has written so many excellent children's books that we had a hard time deciding which one to share with you for today's post. Since she is a new-to-us author, we decided to jump in and start with one of her most popular books, The Gruffalo.

The Gruffalo is a story of a mouse who lives in the forest. He meets different animals that all want to eat him! In order to save himself, he creates an imaginary monster called a Gruffalo. Imagine his surprise when a Gruffalo actually shows up! My kids (and husband) were enthralled with the book and enjoyed reading it several times. I also thought it was quite clever, though I think my kids were too little to understand a few pieces of the plot. The illustrations were beautiful and we especially loved all of the rhyming words!! This book is a new favorite at our house.

It was impossible to pick just one Gruffalo-inspired activity to do, so we'll be sharing a few with you this week. For our first activity we went on a Gruffalo Hunt!

Our friends over at The Gruffalo sent us a few book-inspired things to play with this week and one of our favorite extras they sent were Gruffalo character stickers! We used them to help us make our Gruffalo hunt.

Here's how to make your own Gruffalo Hunt...


To make our hunt cards I cut cardstock into little 3x3 squares and then stuck a character sticker on each one.

I also created larger cards so the kids could match the small character cards that they found to their bigger cards and know when they found everyone. I used markers, a 6x11 piece of cardstock, and stickers to make the larger cards.

For my toddler, I stuck stickers in each square on her large card. There are five characters, so we left the sixth spot empty and I told them it was their bonus square where they could rest their small character cards.

My toddler hunted for small stickered cards and then matched them to the stickered larger card.

My 5 yr old hunted for small stickered cards and then matched them to the names of the characters. He looked at each sticker and then look at the letters at the beginning of each written out animal name and matched the cards with the correct name. He loved figuring out the animal names based on their beginning letters.

To start our Gruffalo hunt I hid the small cards all over our family room and then the kids looked for their own set of five character cards. This was much easier for my 5 yr old than my toddler. My 5 yr old gave his sister some hints though and then they both were able to successfully find and match their cards... and then we started over again!

I always know an activity is a success when my toddler yells, "AGAIN!" right after we finish it.

For our second activity we made some Chocolate Gruffalo Crumble!

When I think of Gruffalo Crumble I think of lots of chocolate... so we decided to use our favorite Chex muddy buddy recipe and make ourselves a treat to enjoy while we watched The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child DVDs.

We made Gruffalo dixie cups for our Gruffalo crumble using more of the character stickers were we sent.

Our kids wanted to watch the DVDs again and again all weekend. They were a little scared of the Gruffalo, but loved the little mouse and watching the other animals. The Gruffalo movie was a little slow moving for my 5 yr old so he ran around the kitchen a bit while he watched. My toddler was entranced and just stood by the tv or close by and couldn't take her eyes off the characters. Now every time she sees the book she asks to also "see the show mommy?"

Our last activity included some matching and retelling using Gruffalo Fun Pocket colorforms.

We were sent the Gruffalo Fun Pocket Travel Play Kit to try out. I attempted to play with it the traditional way with my toddler, but she had her own different ideas, so we tried them out instead.

The Gruffalo Fun Pocket Travel Play Kit is awesome because the pieces adhere to the travel boards and it is easy to carry around with you. The pieces are on the smaller end, so I recommend that you make sure you have adult supervision when you play with these. The kit comes with a little travel pack that is a great size for going on the airplane or on a road trip.

Instead of building on the travel boards, my daughter wanted to hunt through the storybook and discover pictures that matched her colorforms. Once she found matches, she stuck the colorforms in the book and used them to help her tell the story.

She got really frustrated that some of the colorforms didn't have a match in the storybook (ie. insects)! Overall she LOVED the colorforms though and even took them to come watch The Gruffalo DVDs with her and to come play outside in the backyard. She loved cuddling with me and the Gruffalo colorform while we watched.

Do you have any other fun book-inspired activities to go along with The Gruffalo or another book by Julia Donaldson? If you have blogged about it, we'd love for you to link up your post in the linky below! We can't wait to see all of your amazing ideas!

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them:
  1. Link up only posts inspired by Julia Donaldson that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
  2. Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!
  3. Add our Virtual Book Club button to your post if you'd like.
Here's the button you can grab if you are participating!


PS- If you missed any of our other Virtual Book Club Posts you can find them below:

June- Mo Willems
July- Don and Audrey Wood
August- Kevin Henkes
September- Lois Ehlert
October- Amy Krouse Rosenthal
November- Tomie dePaola
December- Jan Brett
January- David McPhail
February- Dr Seuss

If you love The Gruffalo, you can find loads of other Gruffalo products to purchase for your kiddos. This week I am so lucky to be sharing a giveaway by The Gruffalo brand on Wednesday, in addition to sharing a few more Gruffalo-inspired products with you tomorrow. Stayed tuned for some more fun ideas and make sure to check out a few in the linky too. You can also stop by The Gruffalo Facebook page and "like" them if you are interested in more fun Gruffalo resources.

Virtual Book Club for Kids participating bloggers;

Toddler Approved - Rainy Day Mum - Adventures in Reading with Kids - 3 Dinosaurs - Royal Baloo - The Educators' Spin On It - Inspiration Laboratories - Pleasantest Thing - Edventures with Kids - Two Big Two Little - Playing With Words 365 - Kitchen Counter Chronicles - Outlaw Mom - Mommy and Me Book Club - Crafty Moms Share - No Twiddle Twaddle - The Good Long Road - Ready. Set. Read 2 Me - Reading Confetti - Mama Smiles - Juggling with Kids- Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas - Creekside Learning - Creative Family Fun - The Usual Mayhem - Teach Preschool - PlayDrMom - CraftoArt - Here Come the Girls - Being a Conscious Parent - Smiling like Sunshine - Crayon Freckles - Train Up a Child - Smile Play Learn - Enchanted Homeschooling Mom - Coffee Cups and Crayons - Having Fun at Chelle's House- Love, Play, Learn - Juggling With Kids - Motherhood on a Dime - Growing Book By Book- This Reading Mama - Fantastic Fun and Learning

Disclaimer: This post contains affilate links. The products reviewed in this post were given to me for free by The Gruffalo brand. The opinions expressed in this post are mine. 


  1. These are great ideas. We also checked out The Gruffalo book from the library. Now we'll have awesome ideas to use with the book. I love the Gruffalo crumble! :)

  2. We love "The Gruffalo" at our house! We will have to try out some activities of our own.

  3. What fun activities! The treat is my favorite. :)

  4. I wanted to make Gruffalo Crumble too! Maybe we'll try it this week! Thanks for doing this.

  5. oh what fun! We LOVE the Gruffalo too. I must make some crumble. xx

  6. Looks like lots of fun! I love how your little one wanted to use the clings to retell the story!

  7. So love what you've done, super idea indeed!!!
    Thanks for this great blog hop, keep us all going for ages and what a wonderful arrange of books the lovely Julia has!!
    Smiles Sharnee :)


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