We’ve been working on animals and animal sounds around here, mostly farm animals. So it was only appropriate that we get a barn. However, spending $40-$120 just seemed absurd.
For the base, I used a tri-fold board–24″x36″. That was a little happy accident, since 12″x12″ scrapbook paper fits those dimensions with no cutting. I used patterned paper for a bit of flair, and cut out a pond for future ducks and a mud puddle for the piggies. A little paint, a whole lot of Modge Podge, and a raid of my scrapbook paper completed the look.
Well, okay, it wasn’t complete without the animals. I originally bought the Animal Planet brand animals, but once I opened the packaging, I was so overwhelmed with that delightful chemical/plastic smell that I threw the bag across the room away from the grasp of the wee-one. After some Googling, I found out that Animal Plant brand contains high levels of lead in addition to PVC, BPA, etc., etc., etc. No thanks. So we went with the Schleich brand–I couldn’t find much on the company’s website except that they hold to the highest manufacturing standards…not helpful. I did find this post which pretty much sums up my feelings on the topic, and it also helps that she personally tested 200 Schleich figurines with no detection of lead. So we whipped out some leftover giftcards and got:
1. 1 Cow
2. 1 Horse
3. 1 Mommy Pig
4. 1 Baby Pig
For $28 bucks or so. Yikes. But I’m sure they’ll get lots of use, make it through multiple kiddos, and have good resale potential.
Best of all, all the animals and accessories get tossed in the barn for storage, and the base folds up nice and neat. I have plans to create other nature-scapes using the same process for other sets of animals, like Arctic animals or desert animals.
This is Matty’s birthday present, so let’s hope he likes it as much as Mommy and Daddy do!