The kids’ arts and crafts section of the library is a dangerous place for me to browse with my daughter.  We get REALLY distracted when we start thumbing through books on those shelves.  There are  oodles of arts and crafts books just overflowing with ideas, just waiting to be tried. 

But–we have to resist.
 
For heaven sakes, we are busy enough as is with all the extra things we’re already doing each week in the arts and crafts department to supplement our science and history learning. 
 
There really ISN’T a whole lot of time left to create, oh, things like the paper farm featured in this adorable “Make-Your-Own” book by Sally and Stewart Walton.  
This is so cool, we say as we thumb through it… 
but paper farms really don’t fit in the curriculum at the moment.
 
(…)
 
Oh…
but the pictures look so dag-gone cute, how can we possibly resist bringing the book home–just to look at? 
 
And so it begins.
Then we decide one quiet afternoon that maybe we’ll just try and make one of the cute paper animals, for fun.  We’ll look at them all, and carefully choose only one animal, and then that’s it.
The pig, we decide.  Yes, the adorable pink pig. 
 
Except…
the pig was so much fun to trace and color and fold together, that we make a second pig.
They turned out adorably, and looked so cute side by side.


 

Then we decide we’ll do just one last farm animal [and that’s REALLY it because we don’t have any more time to waste on this]…so two becomes three…a wooly sheep. 
Oh, she is precious.
 
Gasp! Until we realize–oh no! Our sweet mamas HAVE to have babies
(because everyone knows there’s nothing so cute as baby farm animals). 
One baby pig and one baby sheep comin’ right up.

The babies are ridiculously cute.

 

 
Only now we determine that all these farm animals need some sort of landscape to roam around on…and while we’re at it, surely we could make a fence too… couldn’t we?
 
And just like that, we end up with an entire paper farm.
{sigh}

 
This book was so fantastic.
We actually DID put it away after our sheep and pigs were done that first day, but then every couple of days, we got it out again and made another animal. 
It became a great little therapeutic activity for me and my daughter to do together in the evenings, once the kitchen was cleaned for the night and everyone was just relaxing that last hour before bedtime.    She’s only 6, so while she could help with the tracing and cutting of the templates, I had to do all the folding.  Then we would work together to color each animal and add details.  Older elementary aged kids could easily work through the book on their own.  But I enjoy doing these types of things with her {because apparently, I didn’t get to do enough paper crafts when I, myself, was a child}.
 

The books gives detailed instructions, so anyone could do this with their kids.
I also loved that all the supplies needed were already on-hand!  We used tracing paper to trace the templates right out of the book, then cut them out and used them to make the animals on construction paper or cardstock.  Then we cut, colored and folded. 
(note: the bowl of candy corn is totally optional)



The farm is set up, for now, on my girl’s night stand. We just keep adding to it every day or two. We cut up thin strips of paper to make “straw” for the pigs.  We created a cute toilet paper roll and tissue paper tree, crinkled up some construction paper for bushes, and cut apart a cereal box for a fence.

  One super-cool feature of this how-to craft book is that it has a 2 page spread that folds open to provide a farm scene backdrop (pictured above).  All the kids love it!
The book is due back at the library next week, and by then, we’ll probably add a couple cows, a loyal hound dog and a few chickens.
And I think I’ll save our tracing templates too, just in case we ever want to make any more animals.
 
This adorable book was published about 20 years ago, but we enjoyed it so much I may purchase it.  It, as well as Make-Your-Own Paper Jungle, Make-Your-Own Ocean, and a few other paper crafting books by the Waltons are available online, used, for less than $5 a piece.
Or, look for them at you local library and enjoy them with your children for free!
 
Happy Paper Crafting!

Want more barnyard fun?  Check out our homemade felt farm!

2 thoughts on “Paper Farm

  1. Anthony Cullen

    “Then we decide we’ll do just one last farm animal [and that’s REALLY it because we don’t have any more time to waste on this]…so two becomes three…a wooly sheep.
    Oh, she is precious.”

    Sold me to do this project. I don’t even like cutsey things.

    -Sincerely,

    New Stay at Home/Home School Dad of a 4 and 2 year old.

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