It was a wet Saturday and by mid afternoon all the toys had been played with and someone was going to crack. I needed something different to bring some variety, and then suddenly I remembered I had bought a box of wooden farm animals a few weeks before.
While my toddler was napping I had a rummage round the recycling bin and whipped up a homemade toy farm, so by the time she woke it was ready to be explored. As you know toddler naps can last anything from 10 minutes to a couple of hours, so there was no time for intricate or fancy and I got it done in 10 minutes, and was pretty pleased with how it turned out.
I can’t claim credit for the idea, I first saw it here, where they do it much better…
On Pinterest there are hundreds of really professional looking homemade farms, but I’m proud of mine because I made it quick using things I already had in the house.
I used a tray of strawberries for the base, and a pack of vitamins for the barn. I cut down one side and folded it back in a triangle to make a roof, which I secured with some decorative washi tape. An egg carton was cut up to make an animal feed bin.
The floor was covered in crushed Weetabix as soil, and granola was used as animal feed. I’ve seen farms made with shredded wheat as hay bales, and cornflakes and branflakes for different field textures, so it’s very flexible, I just went with what we had.
I must admit my little girl did soon discover they were food and ended up eating the granola pretty quickly, and quite a bit of the Weetabix too.
The Farm animals came from Jo Jo Maman Bebe (this is not an ad I bought them when they caught my eye in the shop). They are a lovely selection of wooden animals.
At first I was a bit disappointed that they are quite hard to stand up, especially for a toddler, so my farm animals all looked a little drunk.
But then I realised standing them up and stacking in them is actually a great challange for toddlers and an activity in itself, which she started copying when she saw me do it.
After she got bored of the farm we stood up all the animals in rows, and she had great fun knocking them all down like a cute godzilla (I call her Todzilla) . Then she would say “oh oh” as if an accident or natural disaster had felled them rather than a rampaging toddler.
It was a quick and easy activity for a wet afternoon that provided opportunities for sensory exploration, creative play and a bit of balancing science. The barn didn’t survive Todzilla and the Weetabix ended up everywhere but it would be easy to put together again at short notice so I will definitely recreate again. Thanks Go Play Today for the idea!