If you have kids, you’ve probably been aware of the fascination with play dough…and this farm small world hits the mark! We created a farm play dough world using different colors of play dough and a few miniature farm animals to develop fine motor skills, sensory play, and so much more. This was a huge hit when my kids were smaller and one that I love to go back on and look at the pictures! This farm animal play dough idea is a great addition to a farm activities theme for therapy or the classroom!
Farm Small World
Play dough farm animals are fun ways to support skills in kids…So, what is a farm small world and how can we use this play dough activity to support skill building in kids?
First of all, a farm small world is just that: a miniature farm play activity on a small scale. For kids, play is all about pretend, and play is a powerful means to develop skills: motor skills, cognitive, sensory, etc.
Occupational therapists involve play in therapy sessions to support development of skills through the child’s primary occupation, play!
A farm small world is a play set-up with a farm theme to inspire skills in areas such as:
- Fine motor work– Using the fingers to manipulate farm animal figures in play dough for strengthening and precision
- Heavy work (proprioceptive input) through the hands– By pressing play dough into a small world surface and pressing farm animal figures into the play dough
- Creativity– Imaginative play to create scenarios, and pretend play scenes using the farm play dough creations
- Communication skills– Using receptive language and expressive language to communicate between farm animals or farmer, etc.
- Self-awareness and body awareness– Moving the body through space to manipulate animals and farm figures
- Crossing midline– Moving on the floor or table surface to reach across the small world farm
- Floor play– Playing on the floor for heavy work. Also using principles of DIR Floor Play as a therapy modal
- Visual Processing skills– Eye-hand coordination, visual motor skills, visual scanning, form constancy
A DIY Farm play dough kit can develop so many skill areas!
You can even use the play dough farm animals set along with our Farm Brain Breaks for whole-body therapy fun.
How to Make a Farm Play Dough Small WOrld
To create a farm small world play space, you can gather a few materials:
- Play dough in various colors (brown, blue, and green)
- Farm figures: miniature farm animals, plastic fence, and small trucks or tractors if you have them
- A surface- We used a plastic frisbee for our farm small world, but you could use a plastic plate, a small bin, or a box.
To make the farm playdough world, first press the play dough into the surface of the container. Use fingertips to press the brown, green, and blue play doh into the surface.
Next, add miniature cows, horses, chicken, ducks, pigs, etc. Press the farm animals into the play dough to create animal footprints.
Add farm details such as plastic fencing, miniature tractors, etc.
Then play with the farm play dough kit!
Little Guy loved playing with this little play dough set up. We pulled out our farm animals and a few colors of play dough, and played farm! Little Guy said we needed to get a couple of his cars too. Because the animals needed to go places on his farm 🙂
We explored footprints and tire impressions in the play dough.
The pigs had the mud to themselves…
…and all of the birds stayed in the “lake”.
And then all of the animals got hot and had to take a dip in the lake 🙂
This was a fun way to spend a little time playing with my Little Guy and exploring that imagination of his. He is such a sweet little dude with big ideas and loves having FUN.
We thought it was pretty funny to make animal impressions in the play dough, too. This is a great way to work on fine motor strength and visual motor skills such as visual closure.
We played a little guessing game where one of us would cover our eyes and the other would make an imprint in the play dough. Then the other person would guess what animal made the shape. We did this for a long time…doing each animal.
And then back to the farm we went. And the animals took a few joy rides on their cars and trucks!
So, what do you think? Does this farm small world play look like a fun idea or what? Farm small world animals and a few containers of play dough can support so many developmental areas!
Looking for more fine motor and pretend play skill-builders? Check out our fine motor kits for themed OT work, including these:
You’ll also love our Fine Motor Kits:
Use these Fine Motor Kits for hands-on activity kits to develop fine motor skills, strength, dexterity, and manipulation. Kids LOVE these fine motor kits for the motivating activities. Therapists love them because it’s fresh, fun ways to work on pinch, grip, manipulation skills, and much more. Try some of these themed therapy kits:
- Fall Fine Motor Kit
- Winter Fine Motor Kit
- Spring Fine Motor Kit
- Summer Fine Motor Kit
- Frogs and Toads Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Letters! Fine Motor Kit
- Outer Space Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Valentine’s Day Fine Motor Kit
- Penguin Themed Fine Motor Kit
- Snowman Themed Fine Motor Kit
Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.