9-year-old Becker County boy builds Easter bunny out of maple planks

The Heart of the Lakes Elementary third grader made this Easter egg-stra special with his handmade 3-foot bunny.

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Jaymis Dahlin built a bunny out of wood planks for Easter. The third grader at Heart of the Lakes Elementary in Perham lives in Frazee.
Contributed / Danya Dahlin

DETROIT LAKES — When the Easter Bunny hops into Jaymis Dahlin’s home on Sunday, April 9, it will be in for a big surprise.

The nine-year-old constructed a 3-foot-tall bunny made of wood.

“It was Easter in my head,” he explained. “I just started building.”

The son of Danya and Ben Dahlin didn’t have any blueprints to work from. He just placed one plank atop another until what he envisioned in his imagination took shape in his living room.

“It took about two hours,” he said, adding the most challenging part was the ears. “They had to be close together to make them go sideways.”


Jaymis Dahlin, 9, began building with wood blocks when he was 5. Since, he has created many intricate structures, including trains, castles and much more.
Contributed / Danya Dahlin

Jaymis plans to leave the bunny up until “it falls over” or the family dog knocks it down. Uno, a border collie-pitbull mix, may steer clear of the bunny for a while.

“He’s scared of it,” Jaymis said. “It’s funny.”

Danya said she and her husband are used to seeing “pretty amazing” things created by their son. When he built the Easter mascot, they were cooking in the kitchen. When they went into the living room to get Jaymis, they were greeted with his smiling face and his latest creation.

Danya is thankful her son found an activity he enjoys, as he isn’t enticed by sports at this point.

“He’s more into the arts,” she said, adding they have begun documenting his creations with the intention of joining 4-H and using his work for a possible county fair project.

Jaymis Dahlin often creates structures and figures in his living room with KEVA Planks.
Contributed / Danya Dahlin

The third grader at Heart of the Lakes Elementary in Perham was introduced to KEVA Planks while a kindergartner. After noticing his affinity to build with the planks made of Maple trees, his parents purchased a set for him to use at home.

“He liked them so much we started building sets for his birthday and Christmas,” Danya said. “Each set has between 50 and 150 planks. He has between 800 and 1,000 now.”

Jaymis has used the rectangular wood planks to build many objects and structures. He said his more recent favorite builds were of a train and a castle.


“I build them really high, and it took a long time,” he said. “They fall over sometimes. I just have to start over (when that happens).”

The Frazee resident has also helped his father with projects around the family cabin. There is a banister leading to a loft and he worked alongside Ben to hand-craft each spindle. Together they also built a hot tub with random materials and no plans.

“Jaymis has been watching his dad build things since he was little,” Danya said. “So, he has been very inspired by his dad’s creativity and work.”

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Jaymis Dahlin and his dad, Ben, built a hot tub with leftover wood and no plans.
Contributed / Danya Dahlin

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