ducks and rabbits

Key idea: Can you look at the same thing in different ways? Is there just one answer?

For a similar session please see: Do You See What I See?


2 exact copies of the duck rabbit picture. Search online for ‘Duck rabbit illusion’ I use the simple picture but you may want one of the more realistic ones.
2 puppets (optional)


Invent two characters. Some times I use puppets and sometimes I use children. Tell them that one of the characters has a picture of his favourite animal. “It’s got long ears, soft fur and a small nose. It likes to eat carrots Can you guess what it is?”

One the children have all realised it’s a rabbit, bring out the picture, ensuring you hold it with the ears pointing up so that it looks like a rabbit (see above). Can someone point to its nose? can someone point to its ears? Its eye? Give the picture to the child/puppet.

The other character also has a picture of his favourite animal. So repeat the process. It has a long beak, no ears and it goes quack. “Can you guess what it is?”Ask chn to point at its beak, eye and neck to check understanding.

Main Activity

One day, when running for the bus with their pictures, the two characters crash into each other and their pictures go spinning in the air, getting completely mixed up. One desperately wants to find his or her picture of a duck and the other won’t get on the bus with out her picture of a rabbit.

Mix up both pictures and put them face down. Ask children to pick up a picture and give it to the right person.

Task Questions

  • Did they give it to the right person? Is it a duck? Why?
  • Is it definitely a duck/rabbit?
  • Can it be a duck if it has long ears? Can it be a rabbit and a duck?
  • Are the pictures the same?
  • Is it the same animal? If so, what?


Extension Activites


Pick up one of the pictures and hold it duck way up. Ask the children what it is. And why. Then start to rotate it slowly pausing at points to ask:

  • Is it still a duck?
  • Is it one picture or two pictures?
  • Does the animal change?
  • If I hold it like this (see pic), is it anything?


  • The animal in this picture goes ‘quack’... does that mean it is a duck?
  • Could it be a rabbit?
  • What if it goes woof?
  • One of the characters calls it penguin, are they wrong?
  • On the back of one picture someone has written ‘Donkey’, does that mean it was a donkey all along?

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