There is something extra special about home-made activities. Don’t get me wrong, our house is filled with the obligatory plastic stuff that click-clacks, buzzes and bleeps, and a heap of guilt induced ‘OMG we must buy wood’ toys. But… when it comes down to it, nothing holds Little Buttons interest more than a bit of make-shift wonder.
A recent visit to a lovely farm and their enticing gift shop (that you HAD to walk through to leave) sent Little Button into a must-buy frenzy.
She is usually quite good at resisting the goodies, but after having such a wonderful time, I could see her reaching for play things that would remind her of the farm. The trouble was, no matter how wonderful, the token gifts were pretty expensive and we are trying to avoid buying things every time we go on a visit. We feel it’s really important not to set the trend of buying something for the sake of it and although it can feel like we are being awful, it’s starting to really pay off. Well done Little Button!
Instead of buying something new, I decided to refresh her interest in some of her long forgotten farm animal figures and put together a very easy to make farm inspired mini world.
What do you think? Amazing what you can do with the odds and ends you already have at home.
-Some shredded paper
First you will need a container for the mini world. I used an empty storage box (*whispers… OK… it was actually a full one that I tipped out to make empty). You could also use a shoe box, large plastic serving tray or even a baking tray. Whatever you have to hand.
Next, use some coloured paper to make the ground. I had green paper so I used that to make a grassy base. If you are very clever, you could use some fake or even dare I say it, real grass. I also added a few green pipe cleaners that I coiled into springy grassy shapes and I threw in a leaf or two.
Dig out any farm toys you have and then think about how you might be able to create little homes or zones for them. Save any little Easter rabbits, chicks or mini eggs that you have left over as these work really well in the mini world.
These are the zones I made:
I used coloured shredded tissue paper and feathers that we already had in Little Buttons art box to make a place for nesting. I then filled her re-usable eggs with chicks and pretend fried eggs. For the all-important hen lookout, I popped her on an upturned empty yogurt pot.
The rabbits hide-out made from some very thick shredded card that came with a package. I also hid some real chocolate eggs in there as a reference to the Easter bunny.
I used a small cupcake case as a feeding trough and added in some rice crispies for good measure.
To make a dry pond, you can try wrapping some tin foil around an up-turned lid. I used some pipe cleaners to twist into little fishes. To make it even more fun, you could use a shallow pot and fill with a splash of water to make a wet pond.
Little Button spent about an hour or so happily tinkering with her farm inspired mini world. She has played with it almost every day so far…
Everything is in a bit of a pickle now, so I am going to try out another idea soon.