“Every time you sit down to eat…thank a farmer.”
Hey everyone. Only two more paper crafts for the summer are left. I can’t believe how fast the summer is going. This craft is a little more complicated but you can simplify it by not adding little barn doors or a hay loft window.
Little empty milk carton. You know, the ones the school hands out to our kids everyday.
Construction paper or card stock
Wooden squares- (sale them by the bag at most hobby stores)
Red, White, and green paint
Little plastic animals
I got this idea from an old barn that used to be in the field across Our Little Red House.
When I was up north, every time I would glance out the front window, there was that old barn staring back at me. It was such a beautiful site. It was barely standing and falling apart so it was eventually taken down and the wood was re-purposed. Before working on this craft project maybe you can visit a farm or check out some books on barns. This will help to give you ideas on the layout of the little barns you will be making yourself.
First step in this craft is collecting twigs.
If you do not have access to a forest area then maybe a city park or a nice neighbors backyard. Your kids will have so much fun walking around picking up little twigs for their barns. When my kids were little we would explore the woods up north collecting all kinds of things to make art with. Who I’m I kidding, we still do this…now we are just big kids at heart walking around collecting little nature treasures to create with.
Sometimes if we are really lucky and super quiet we will come across families of deer or elk.
Like a little surprise waiting behind a tree or way off in the distance.
Those are the moments I treasure when I think about all the hard work of rebuilding that little red house. It was in the middle of nowhere so that made things a little hard,but we did it. The kids were right there with us, painting, tiling, building a well house. It all became part of their home school lessons on life and just being creative.
I loved those moments when we would head out to explore the woods up there. Then we head back to the little red house, and I would pull out my basket of art supplies and we would sit at the table with a big bowl of popcorn and make art together. Usually with some old VHS tape playing on our television set in the background.
Once you have collected your own twigs you will need a little milk carton. Make sure to clean it well and let it dry before you start gluing twigs to it. You don’t want some nasty sour smelling barn to play with later. Maybe that would be a little too realistic.
After your carton has dried, cut out a square in the front. This will be a way to get in and out of your barn. Next, take your twigs and cut them down to even sizes. Then start gluing them all around your barn.
To make a loft area, you will need poster board or a recycled cereal box for cardboard.
Just draw out a large rectangle and fold six times, this will be the barn roof. I painted mine green. Depending on the barn you are making there are so many types of roof styles you could make. Adding Spanish moss to the top might be nice too.
The little loft area is also made from card stock, with a tiny square cut out for an opening.
Add an extra inch to the ends to fold over and glue onto top of milk carton. The roof can be laid over the carton and glued in place.
I purchased a big bag of wooden squares and rectangle pieces at the craft store. I used two rectangles to make the barn door. I painted them first, then glued a little strand of ribbon to the unpainted side to glue into the side of the cut out area on the front of the barn door. This is the complicated part. You can skip this part if it is too much and just leave the opening the way it is.
After your barn is covered with twigs, add animals. This cow and pig are little clay animals I made myself. Self hardening clay is perfect for kids to make their own animals with and they can even make little people.
Hope you all enjoy this craft with your little ones. Remember to include everyone when creating. It doesn’t matter what level or age…just have fun creating away. Even toddlers can walk around collecting twigs with you.
Pretend play is so important for children. Now days it is hard to find toys from the past. It also seems to be taboo with some pretend toys. That one I do not get. Anyway, I had to use ABA therapy to teach my kids how to pretend play. What comes natural to some children, others struggle with. I would spend hours as a little girl playing away with my Fisher price little people. Later, when I had kids of my own, these were the toys I would search out to buy for them .
It is frightening to me how much technology is taking over the play skills of our children. Gone are the days of Playdoh, crayons, or playing in the dirt and just being a silly little kid. Those items are still out there, but more and more people are choosing little screens to do the playing for their children.
This craft project is a great way to get out there in nature, stretch those legs and spend time with each other as a family. Turn this into a fun lesson about the different kinds of animals.
It’s perfect for developing speech because there are all kinds of opportunities to ask questions with pretend play. So get out that big bucket of plastic animals and design the perfect farm, with one adorable little barn of course.
Hey, here’s another idea…design that farm in a red wagon filled with dirt and plant real seeds. That way your kids will have plants to take care of and water every time they go out to play. They can pull it around with them where ever they go.
Special thanks all those farmers out there. Thank you for all the work you do to keep people on this planet fed.
Happy family crafting everyone. Have a great weekend, from all of us at Our Little Red House.
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