Helping Children Learn from Badger and Fox
Below you will find a topic, questions, and a follow-up activity for each of the twelve chapters in Badger and Fox. After your child or class has read or listened to a story, use these questions to start a conversation about it. We would love for you to come up with topics, questions, and follow-up activities of your own and share them with us via email or Instagram.
The Big Puzzle
Finding ways to amuse oneself
- Are you more like Badger or more like Fox? Why do you think so? If you are more like Badger, do you know anyone who is more like Fox? If you are more like Fox, do you know anyone who is more like Badger? How do you get along?
- What would you do to have fun on a day when you couldn’t go outside, and had no TV or video game to play with?
- What does Badger mean when she says she and Fox should have a “strategy” for making the big puzzle? What is a “strategy”? Does Fox think they need a strategy? How can you tell?
Make up an indoor game you (and a friend) can play by searching for something special that a grown-up has hidden. Think up a good strategy or plan to help you find it.
The Spectacular Snowbank
Finding ways to help others in need
- What are some of the things Badger, Fox, and their friends like to do in the snow? What are some of the things you like to do in the snow?
- What do the animals need to do to build their snow house? Did you ever built a snow house? Did it look like theirs?
- What kinds of birds and animals live near you in the winter? Do you know what a food bank is? Do you think turning the snow house into a food bank for birds was a good idea?
Together with a few friends, make something for someone who might need help. For example, you could make holiday cards for elderly people or collect books for children who don’t have any. Ask a grown up for suggestions if you get stuck.
The Scary Shortcut
Dealing with fear
- Have you ever taken a long walk or hike? With whom did you go? What did you take with you? Did you find anything exciting?
- What kind of an animal is Packer? What kinds of things does Packer like to do?
- What’s scary about Packer’s “shortcut”? Do you think it was a good idea for Badger and Fox to go with him? What would make it less scary?
Identify a time when you learned to do something you hadn’t been able to do before. How did that make you feel? Then plan an adventure that might seem a little scary and figure out how you could make it feel safe. Always check with a grown up to make sure you’re right!
The Mysterious Visitor
Appreciating someone who is different
- Has there ever been a mystery at your house? Was it hard to figure out? How did you figure it out?
- Where does Star think she is when she suddenly pops up in Badger and Fox’s den? Why does she stare at the ceiling and talk about the moon?
- What are all the things you learn about Star in this story? How do they help explain what she says and does? What’s an encyclopedia, and why does Badger like to use hers?
The next time you meet someone who looks very different from you, try to find out a little about that person. How do differences help make our schools more interesting place and help us learn new things?
The Birthday Surprise
Recognizing a friend’s feelings
- Do you have a calendar in your house? If you had a calendar of your own, what are some of the important dates and holidays you would want to mark on it?
- If you were helping Fox make games for a birthday party, what are some of the games you would want to help her make? What would you need to make those games?
- What do you think Rabbit means when he says in his note to Badger and Fox that he’s feeling “a little unusual” on the morning of his birthday? Do you think he’s happy or sad? What does Badger think?
Think of someone you really like who might like a nice surprise. Maybe you could do a chore that needs to be done or make up a special song or just give that person a big unexpected hug.
The Unusual Present
Dealing with an unwanted present
- Why are Badger and Fox so surprised by Aunt Badger’s present? What would be a surprising piece of clothing you received as a present?
- Why does Raccoon suggest the dresses would make good fishnets and Squirrel suggest they would make good parachutes? If Badger and Fox asked you what their new dresses were good for, what would you suggest?
- What does Skunk mean when she says the dresses are for “saying nice things about”? Can you think of any other times when it’s important to say nice things to someone else?
The next time you get a present you didn’t really want, think of something you can do with it that would make someone else happy.
The Great Idea
Being flexible when something goes wrong
- How does Badger change Fox’s “great idea” before she agrees to help? Why does she want to make this change?
- Have you ever performed on a stage? Have you ever seen a performance on a stage? What might be fun about performing on a stage? What are some of your talents?
- What does Fox do when she finally realizes the Big Talent Show is being rained out? Do you think she is disappointed? How does she “save the day”?
Together with your friends, organize a talent show in which each child gets a chance to do something special – like dancing or singing or doing a trick.
The Daring Rescue
Solving a difficult problem
- Have you ever helped someone that was in trouble? What did you do? How did you feel – nervous, brave, excited?
- Describe how Badger and Fox and friends work together to save Beechnut.
- Why doesn’t Beechnut just let himself fall into the blanket once it’s spread out below him? Have you ever been too frightened to move? What makes you feel safe?
Pay attention to children who are younger than you are, and when you see one get stuck or afraid, try to help that child get unstuck.
The Special Password
Being generous, being fair
- Why do you think Badger and Fox and their friends find the idea of a new clubhouse so exciting? Have you and your friends ever had a clubhouse or a place where you could meet by yourselves?
- Have you ever belonged to a special group of friends? What made the group special?
- Have you ever been in a group that didn’t let another child join? Have you ever wanted to join a group that wouldn’t let you in? How did it feel to be excluded?
The next time you are with a group of friends and a new child wants to join the group, do what you can to make that person feel welcome whether or not he or she actually joins the group.
The Prize Pumpkin
Helping someone feel appreciated
- Do you like wearing a costume? Why? / Why not? What was your all-time favorite costume? Do you think putting on a good costume, makes you feel different – maybe a little stronger or braver or sillier?
- Mouse is very clever at making scary tricks. Do you think it’s fun to do something scary? Do you think it’s fun to be a little scared? What’s the difference between “good scary” and “bad scary?”
- At first Mouse didn’t want to go to the pumpkin party. Why? How did the other animals treat her when she did go? Do you think she learned anything about herself and her friends?
Help someone who doesn’t have a lot of confidence do something they would like to do but doesn’t think they can do.
The Strange Signs
Helping a bully become a friend
- What are the things Badger and Fox find that tell them some new animal has come into the forest?
- Why does Bear think at first it’s his river and his forest? Does being bigger or stronger really mean someone is better? What are some other things a person might be proud of? Is there anything you are especially proud of?
- How do Badger and Fox and their friends convince Bear it would be more fun to share the forest than to claim it as his own?
When someone starts always wanting to be the one to decide how to do things, find a way to show that person it’s more fun to share than to be bossy.
The Beautiful Night
- Why do Badger and Fox decide to give brownies to their friends? Is there anything special they want to celebrate?
- What are some of the other animals’ individual habits Badger and Fox need to pay attention to when they deliver their presents?
- Have you ever seen a night sky full of stars? Have you ever seen shooting stars? How do the stars and the shooting stars make Badger and Fox feel? Why do they give each other a hug before continuing home?
Think of a way to show your friends how much you appreciate them. Then do it!