Monday 9 October 2017

Learning motor-skills with Gruffalo Terrible Tusks fruit kebabs

Learning motor-skills with our Gruffalo Terrible Tusks fruit kebabs

The Gruffalo has been very big in our house since last Christmas and I know we'll be watching it again plenty this year.   Jane even got the Gruffalo Crumble and other recipes cookbook and it's been out a few times, most recently to make Gruffalo tusk fruit kebabs.

This recipe book is great and we've been happily creating recipes and new ones using it's fun ideas. We've previously made Gruffalo Childs' pancakes by adapting a recipe from the book - this one is very similar with only a few changes to help our kids out.  Most cooking involves motor skills and this kind of activity also involves some imagination which is great practice for kids with autism and other conditions too.  It's a great back-to-school motor skills activity.

If you've read The Gruffalo you will know he is recognisable thanks to many features including his 'terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.' Quite terrible indeed.  But ideal for helping with fine motor skills through this recipe.  The kids can help with cutting the fruit before hand if they can.

A safety knife like this, can be useful if your kids are younger or still developing knife control.  We also used some of our Chilean easy peeler mandarins which are brilliant for helping with motor skills. They practice bilateral motor skills (holding the mandarin with one hand and peeling with the other) and pinching and pincer grip to peel the fruit.

Jane is four and she loved it and Anthony, our nine year old lad with ASD and ADHD joined in too and had a great time.  He was particularly regimented about it and although he doesn't like many fruit, still gave the activity ago with the parts he does like.  Here's what you'll need and need to do for your Gruffalo's Terrible Tusks fruit kebabs.

Ingredients we used for our 4 kebabs: (two each for Anthony and Jane)

2 organic fairtrade bananas for the tusks and an extra one chopped
2 Chilean easy peeler mandarins into sections
4 organic strawberries halved
2 goodness organic fun-sized apples cut into chucks
1 pack of cut up honey dew melon cut into chucks

We also used:
4 safe skewers or straws


1. To make the 'tusk' end of the fruit kebabs the book uses a banana.  Simply cut the bananas in half and then put one half onto the end of your straw or skewer. Don't push the skewer all the way through - go about two thirds the way through so that the banana makes a tusk shape.

2. Then add the rest of the chopped fruit into bowls around the table for the children to add onto the kebab.  By placing the bowls around the table we encourage the kids to cross their midline and use both hands independently (i.e using you left hand to reach the far left bowl, and the right one for the other way) which can be challenging for some kids.

3. Help the kids get the different fruit onto the kebabs. This is really good for more bilateral motor skills development as you need to hold and push the fruit at the same time as holding the skewer or straw.

The kids can either 'play it safe' and choose their favourite fruits or be adventurous and try everything.   Our kids were one of each, and that's just fine.  Nothing else to do except eat them, they maybe Gruffalo Terrible Tusks, but the kids say they tasted delicious!

Why not use The Gruffalo Makaton resource pack to accompany your recipe 
or one of reading the books?


  1. Great to hear how you got on - commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

  2. Ohhhh the skewers sound so tasty! The Gruffalo has always been such a huge hit in our house and I recall a time when I was subjected to it every day, however I love it so never minded! Sounds like you had fun!

  3. I love the gruffalo, so this is right up my street #brillblogs@_karendennis

  4. I love the gruffalo, so this is right up my street #brillblogs@_karendennis

  5. What a wonderfully creative and delicious way to engage children into reading and healthy food!

  6. these are really cute and a great way to get little ones interested in healthy eating with different ideas #littlemakes

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. It is truly a well-researched content and excellent wording. I got so engaged in this material that I couldn’t wait reading. I am impressed with your work and skill. Thanks. KISS English Community

  9. Thank you again for all the knowledge you distribute,Good post. I was very interested in the article, it's quite inspiring I should admit. I like visiting you site since I always come across interesting articles like this one.Great Job, I greatly appreciate that.Do Keep sharing! Regards, Suzuki motorcycles

  10. My sister has gifted an electric griddle on my birthday, so it has become easier to try the best recipes mentioned at


I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

Have a look at our most recent posts:

@rainbowsaretoo Ann H on Google + rainbowsaretoo pinterest rainbowsaretoobeautiful bloglovin Instagram rainbowsaretoobeautiful