An Introduction to The Fantastic Mr Fox | Outlearn Activity Guide

‘An introduction to The Fantastic Mr Fox’ is a section of themed activities that focuses on the famous story about a fox and his family, trying to outwit a bunch of farmers to survive. If you are looking for story based maths-focused activities then this section is where you should start.

The selection of activities are there to help develop; your trust, leadership, cooperation, patience, teamwork, life skills, and use and apply the maths knowledge within life tasks. Each themed story will ooze so many other benefits, so why not get choosing and try them out!

Shortened Version of the Story

The story revolves around Mr Fox, who lives underground next to a tree with his wife and four cubs. In order to get food for his family, he makes visits to farms owned by three horrid farmers named Boggis, Bunce and Bean and grabs the livestock from each farm. Tired of being outsmarted by Mr Fox, the vile farmers devise a plan to trap him as he leaves his burrow, but they succeed only by taking his tail off with a gun shot.

The farmers then dig up the foxes’ burrow using shovels then big diggers. The foxes manage to escape by burrowing deeper and deeper into the earth for safety. The farmers are ridiculed of their sheer grit and determination, so they decide to sit and wait around Mr Fox’s burrow hoping that he and his family become hungry enough to come out. Surrounded by their enemies, Mr Fox’s family and friends start to starve. Mr Fox devises a ‘ cunning plan ’ to get food. He and his cubs dig through the ground and wind up at one of Boggis’ chicken houses. Mr Fox kills a few chickens and gives them to his eldest cub to take back home to Mrs Fox. On the way to their next farm, Mr Fox runs into Badger, his old friend and asks him to come with them on their next pursuit, as well as to ask him to explain to all the other underground creatures how sorry he is that they have been caught up in the farmers hunt, and as an apology they are all invited to feast with them.

Helped by Badger, the animals dug to Bunce’s farm for ducks, geese, hams, bacon and vegetables- as highlighted by one of the small foxes, remembering that the rabbits will want carrots, and then to Bean’s cider cellar. In the cellar, they are nearly caught by the Beans’ servant Mabel, but manage to get away. They take all that they can grab back to the burrow, where Mrs Fox has made a feast for all the hungry creatures.

At the feast, Mr Fox suggests to everyone to stay with him and his family in a secret underground neighbourhood, where he will catch food for them all and no one will need to worry about the farmers again. Everyone loves this idea, while Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are left waiting for Mr Fox to come out of his hole. The author concludes “And so far as I know, they are still waiting.”

Themed Activities

These activities below are maths-focused and surround the story of The Fantastic Mr Fox.

Campfire Chicken & Dumplings

‘Campfire chicken & dumplings’ is a great outdoor activity suitable for young children of all abilities. The aim of campfire chicken & dumplings is to create Boggis’s favourite meal.

Bunce’s Special Doughnuts

This activity is creative, messy and very fun, with a hint of scavenging of supplies. The aim of Bunce’s special doughnuts is to use the natural materials to create a unique doughnut.

Bean’s Spiced Cider

Making drinks over a fire is always a great activity, especially when it’s linked to The Fantastic Mr Fox. The aim of Bean’s spiced cider is to create a non alcoholic tasty drink.

The Cunning Plan

This measuring based activity will get you into the mindset of how clever and cunning the fox is. The aim of the cunning plan is to create a course that will run around all the farms.

Shaping the Characters

In order to understand what the characters are feeling, you need to imagine you are one of them. The aim of shaping the characters is to gain a better understanding of what each character might be emotionally going through as the story progresses.

Sleeping Farmers

‘Sleeping farmers’ is a great outdoor activity suitable for young children of all abilities. The aim of sleeping farmers is to combine your senses and patience.