Planning and creating a play farm is an imaginative and productive activity for children and parents. With a few simple materials, most of them already found in your home, you can build a small-scale farm that includes any number of farm buildings, animals, crops and even people to populate the farm. In fact, this activity can also turn a school project into a fun art project.
Cut the poster board to the size of your farm "ground" and lay it flat on the floor. Colour the poster board to reflect the colour of the ground (for example, brown for dirt, green for pastures or blue for a river running through the farm). Create paths on your farm by drawing them in crayon or marker on your poster board.
Sketch the outline of a barn, silo and farmhouse on construction paper or a blank note card, thinking about the shape of each building you're creating. For example, a barn would be a rectangle with a triangular roof. A silo would be a tall rectangle with a half-circle for a roof. Leave a small area or "tab" at the bottom of each building that will be folded under to help it stand up.
Colour each building with crayons, markers or coloured pencils to give your buildings character. Add details to the buildings by drawing windows, wooden planks on the sides of the barn or silo or doors with doorknobs. Highlight the roof of a building by making it a different colour.
Cut out each building around the outline, being careful not to cut off the extra piece at the bottom that will act as a stand. Fold the bottom tab under so it lays flat against the floor when the building is vertical, creating a stand.
Draw, colour and cut out animals and people for your farm. For animals, use cows, horses, chickens, roosters and pigs. Give the people clothes they would wear while working and living on a farm. Draw an extra tab at the bottom of each animal and person, Fold that tab over after the figure has been cut out.
Draw and colour plants for your farm, including corn stalks, fields of wheat and oat, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins and even apple trees. Add other plants, trees, and flowers to your farm. Use an extra tab at the bottom of each plant. Cut out each plant and tab. Fold over the tab so the plant will stand up.
Assemble your farm. Gather all the buildings, animals, people, and plants you have created and stand them up vertically. Place them on the poster board "ground," deciding where you want each figure to go. If you want the figures to stay put, place a small dab of glue or glue stick on the underside of each tab.
When sketching the outlines of buildings, use a ruler to make your lines straight. Look for pictures of farm buildings and animals in old magazines, then cut out those pictures and glue them to note cards, folding the bottom over to create a stand.