Downsize Easter treats this year with a homemade paper plate Easter bunny basket. The basket can be made by children or adults. The final craft project can be used as a decoration, or as a real Easter basket. The making of the craft will help preschoolers learn how to lace shoestrings. The lacing also helps small children with their fine motor skills. Using shoestrings instead of staples also eliminates the dangers of having a staple fall out and mix in with any jelly beans or small candies in the basket. This basket will also have some standing power, as it includes small bunny feet.
Decorate the plate. Children can use crayons to draw spots and fur on the plate. The plate could also be decorated with paint, markers or circles and ovals cut from construction paper. Use what you have on hand. Fold the plate in half.
Punch a series of holes in the rounded part of the folded plate. Space them out evenly. Do not make holes on the top of the plate, because this will be the opening. Leave an inch or 2 of space at the top. Lace a shoestring through a hole near the fold. Tie a knot. Ask the child to lace the shoestring through the holes until they reach the top, where there will be a gap. Tie another knot. Repeat on the other side.
Glue the cotton ball tail on one end of the folded plate, near the fold. Choose a big cotton ball and glue it securely. If you do not have a cotton ball, use a small white gift-wrapping bow. Or, ball some white or light coloured yarn.
Add the raffia grass into the opening, to look like real grass. Substitute strips of green construction paper for the grass. Or, use edible candy grass that you can buy in stores. Tie the 2 ends of the shoelaces together that were knotted near the opening. Wrap a soft ribbon around the shoelaces to make a pretty handle. If they are too short to be tied together, tie a ribbon to each end.
Glue the eyes on the opposite side of the tail. Put one eye on each side of the plate. Poke a black pipe cleaner through the same side, to make the whiskers. Glue a small pink pom-pom above the whiskers to make a nose.
Cut 2 tubes out of the paper towel rolls, each 3 inches long. Cut a small slit into the top of the tube. Paint the tubes brown and draw 3 lines on each end, to look like toes. Set the finished bunny into the feet. These will help the basket stand up, after it has been filled with treats.
Use a flat paper plate, not one with a thick or wide ridge.
Do not use the craft eyes if the Easter bunny basket will be around children 3 and younger. Draw on the eyes instead.