I made an Easter version of an old tumbling toy for Disney FamilyFun Magazine. The toy uses marbles to propel itself. Usually, it’s a tumbling acrobat. It used to be popular in China, then in the nineteenth century it made it’s way to Europe and became a popular folk toy. It’s pretty clever, and really fun to watch. It works best on a surface that’s not too slick, like couch cushions, or blankets. Watch the video below to see it in action and learn how to make it. There’s a template at the bottom of this post, so give it a try! If your kids do some nice coloring on their bunnies, it would be great to see them. Feel free to post photos or videos on the Made by Joel Facebook page! Happy Tumbling!

Click on the template below, then print. (Regular paper works just fine, but a thicker paper is even better. My favorite is this  matte photo paper – Amazon affiliate link, helping support the site.)

74 Responses
  1. Flo

    I love the culbuto (in french)… So much fun ! I do that when I was younger and I always find so incredable that small and "old" game are always in the top of the game… So when my little girl was younger, I create two pieces and the first arrived was the winner ! Pfff… I lost often… ;-)
    (sorry for my little english)
    Have a good week and thanks for all your ideas ! Flo

  2. I Live in an Antbed

    Simplicity + Beauty + Function= Brilliance
    My kids are excited!!!! Thank you, again, for sharing such incredible things with us!

  3. Rose Fern

    Wow!
    Amazing!
    Great for Easter, when I'm expecting my best friend and her kids. There'll be some bunny racing in the garden ,indeed!
    Thank you so much for sharing your creativity with us!
    Greetings from Greece!

  4. nanannwoogies

    I think my kids will love these!

    Question though: should we print these out on cardstock I presume? I would think regular paper would be too thin. Thanks!

  5. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    nanannwoogies – Actually, regular paper will work fine too. I made one from cardstock, and one from regular, and for some reason the thin paper one was a bit faster! Might have been something other than the paper though. Or maybe the thin paper is more bendable, and creates less friction? So yeah, try them both out. The thick paper, I think, will last longer at least.

  6. Patti

    How fun! My 7 yr. old is sitting here hollering "print them out, print them out!" LOL I guess we're playing Tumble Bunnies this afternoon. :)

  7. Cari

    I am in charge of an Easter themed craft at my sons preschool in a few weeks and these will be PERFECTION! Thanks so much.

  8. amomwithalessonplan.com

    I can't decide whether to let my little ones put these together on their own or to make them for the easter basket!

  9. Umatji

    a great chocolate free easter present! great. I have made tumbling men out of felt before with an inner card section. I wonder if you could do the same for bunnies!

  10. Patricia

    This is soooo fun, Joel! I love it :)
    It'll be great also if we print out a few of them in different colored papers… or much better if each kid (if they're several) paints its own… as to distinguish each one in the "Bunnies Race"!

  11. Jackie

    Oh this is sooo perfect. I've been playing bunny races with my almost three year old all day! Thank you so very much.

  12. Pancakes For Recess (Pawan)

    Oh my, this is the cutest thing ever! I'm going to have my class make them with their big buddies in 7th grade. Thank you!

  13. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    Judy Jowers – Great idea with the shelf liner! I've got to try that! I have a roll of that somewhere. Cool!

  14. Anonymous

    I loved the video but when I tried to make it with regular xerox paper, the bunny only slides, it doesn't not tumble. Do I need a heavier paper like a construction paper?
    Thanks,

  15. Anonymous

    followup:
    I made two changes that did work:
    1)used construction paper,
    And
    2)used a felt, or a blanket as the path, either one worked fine.

    I had used a guitar case, which was too slippery. Xerox paper doesn't work on felt or blanket either. Has to be construction paper on felt or blanket.

    Great toy. Thanks, Joel.

  16. Anonymous

    hard to cut out for younger hands but worked TOGETHER.. we used card stock and GUMBALLS
    what fun!Taking a stack all ready cut out for Easter for the little kids at family dinner.
    barb and boys

  17. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone! And yes, I like Judy's idea (above) about using the grip shelf liner stuff for a bunny tumbling surface, if felt or blankets aren't working! Maybe even an up-side-down bath mat would work nicely.

  18. cristina

    WooHoo! Just printed up 3 sheets of
    Tumble Bunnies!
    Adán is going to put them together
    for his cousin Ruby (2yrs. old) and
    we're gonna watch those bunnies
    tumble and r-r-roll :* )

  19. SANDRA MARIA

    Adorei a ideia do coelho,tenho um saci com o mesmo principio, não sei se vc conhece este personagem pois faz parte do folclore brasileiro ele é um menino negro muito traquina que só tem uma perna daí o nome do brinquedo saci saltador. Coloquei a lenda e o brinquedo no meu blog pega lá…http://epubliquese.blogspot.com/

  20. Pancakes For Recess (Pawan)

    Another wonderful idea! I'm going to try this with my first graders tomorrow – they're going to love it! And congrats on the news of your new little girl. Best wishes to you!

  21. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    Anonymous – It's probably a setting in your printing software. Look for something that says "scale 50%" or similar, and either uncheck that box, or turn the scale to 100%. That's my guess anyway. Good luck!

  22. jmcdo

    We will be making these for our Vacation Bible School this summer. I used regular printer paper and substituted a picture of our VBS character instead of the bunny. The kids will color them too. I found the bunnies roll MUCH better if you put two rubber bands around them lenghthwise – the rubber bands should be not be too tight or the toy will bunch up and not move. The added traction is all the tumbler needs to race down a tilted cookie sheet.

  23. Thanks so much everyone!

    jmcdo – Cool! I was always wondering if rubber bands would work in this way, but I never got around to trying it. I saw some rubber bands once on the wheels of a wooden toy car, that gave me the idea. Now I’ll have to try this for sure! I’d love to see photos if you get any. Feel free to upload them on http://www.facebook.com/madebyjoel Very nice!

  24. Sally Nicholas (@SallyGNicholas)

    Today as pert of book week we read the book The Magic Rabbit by Annette LeBlanc Cate and then made your tumble bunnies. Thank you for your generosity.
    Miss Sally – Sinarmas World Academy, Jakarta, Indonesia

    1. Hmmm, not sure. Anything small, heavy and round. Maybe something cylindrical would work. Let me know if you come up with anything that works! It would be handy for lots of people I’m sure!

    2. Katy

      Hi
      Just wanted to say thanks for these. I scaled them up using golf balls and cereal box card for my toddler class and they go down a cushion slope really well!
      :)

  25. I found your page some months ago and I´ve enjoyed all your projects with my children. Thank you very much for sharing your work and ideas…

    Please, Never stop!!!

    (A spanish mom)

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