I have a long love affair with Beatrix Potter books. I was gifted a mini collection when I was born and, though the covers are falling off and the pages are lovingly worn, it’s still among my most treasured possessions and favorite picture books.
The illustrations are pure magic, and as I grew up, the idea that Beatrix daydreamed about these little pals through her adulthood only made the series more beloved. What a model of keeping imagination with you.
In honor of Ms. Potter, everyone’s favorite mischievous bunny & the arrival of spring, I thought I’d share my own version of Mr. McGregor’s Garden – in a portable, travel-sized tin! Bonus: you can combine this with our bunny & chick free printables for a whole afternoon of sunny bunny fun!
To make your own paper Peter Rabbit garden you’ll need:
Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few affiliate links from Amazon and/or Woodpecker Crafts for reference. As Amazon Associates, we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*
- 1-2 Sheets of 8.5 x 11 Heavy Cardstock
- Our Travel Tin Peter Rabbit Garden Free Printable PDF
- Brown play dough, paper or felt
- (1) Self-laminating sheet (I used a half-page of these Scotch brand sheets)
- Green felt for grass
- Crayons, markers or other coloring supplies
- An Altoid tin for storage
The printable includes vegetables, a picket fence, foliage, a potting bench & supplies, a wheelbarrow, the infamous scarecrow, and (of course!) Peter Rabbit himself. There are also 2 additional pages in black & white for ink-savers who would rather color in their own!
DIY Paper Peter Rabbit Garden Instructions:
- Download, print and cut out our free printable Peter Rabbit Garden pieces
Download and print out the desired pages of our Peter Rabbit Garden PDF (be sure to choose “borderless printing” in your printer settings). Cut out the pieces you’d like to use for your garden. Pieces that have a mirror image can be folded over to stand up!
- Optional: Use a self-laminating sheet to laminate the pieces
Because I wanted to “plant” my vegetables in the playdough garden, I used a self-laminating sheet to moisture-proof them, make them more durable & keep them from bending when being played with.
- Add playdough to a small tin to create a mini garden filled with “dirt”
Make or add playdough to a small tin for your garden. I used this recipe and added equal parts red, blue, and green dye to create a brown color. If you’d rather not use play dough, you can cut a piece from a thick foam sheet, old styrofoam, felt, or something similar to create your garden “dirt”.
- Arrange your own little garden!
This part is the most fun because you get to set up your very own garden and have fun letting Peter play! You can add to your garden with drawings, cut more felt pieces to use as extra grass patches or dirt and create your own pop-up figures of Mr. McGregor and other characters.
Other ways to use your paper garden playset:
- So many people have sent lovely photos of our printed playset put to use in Peter Rabbit sensory bins. Fill a small container or clay pots with dried beans, colored rice, paper grass, playdough, or even dirt, then add our printed pieces and other small gardening accessories.
- This travel tin is a fantastic play item to throw in a purse for restaurants or on-the-go entertainment.
- For spring parties, these make a super-cute set of themed cake toppers or baby shower gift tags.
- You can also use them for a spring felt board – just laminate and add some velcro pieces to the back of each cutout piece!
I’ve found the fastest and easiest way to make a felt storyboard (large or small) is to use a picture frame. Simply take the glass out, replace it with a piece of felt cut to size (along with a piece of scrap cardboard behind if necessary). Slide or clip in the frame back as usual, and just like that, you have a felt storyboard that can be used flat, standing up, or even hung on a wall! You can even take it all apart and use everything when you’re finished.
More Peter Rabbit Crafts and Activities for Kids
Peter Rabbit has always been one of my very favorite storybook characters to use for spring play with kids. Here are a few darling ideas for more Peter Rabbit activites your kids will love!
- Encourage your kids to explore growing their own produce with this DIY McGregor Garden. Carrots, radishes, lettuce…what will your tabletop test garden grow…?
- Make a cuddly version with this absolutely adorable felt pocket Peter Rabbit craft from Teach Beside Me, or this sweet little Peter Rabbit DIY plushie from Thrifty Jinxy.
- Use our printable playset to initiate some Peter Rabbit-themed creative storytelling from Hands On Teaching Ideas.
- Hosting a spring party or shower? Grab inspiration from this oh-so-cute Peter Rabbit birthday party from Pop Sugar, and complete your decorations with these kid-made Peter Rabbit-inspired carrot suncatchers from The Gingerbread House.
It’s bunny season, so grab an activity idea from this collection of our very favorite bunny art and craft projects for kids! Our DIY folk art bunnies include a rabbit-themed process that little ones will jump for joy over! And for an uber-modern take on bunnies and chicks try your hand at a Calder-inspired cardboard spring sculpture!
If you’re drawn to the garden, gather up scrap paper to make your own cardboard fold-out secret garden. Or head outside to gather up some fresh blooms for a playdough fairy forest nature play invitaiton.
*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon or Woodpecker Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!