Farm Small World Play Dough Activity

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 activity with a farm play dough idea

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.

Farm play dough small world with farm animal minifigures

How to Make a Farm Play Dough Small WOrld

To create a farm small world play space, you can gather a few materials:

  1. Play dough in various colors (brown, blue, and green)
  2. Farm figures: miniature farm animals, plastic fence, and small trucks or tractors if you have them
  3. 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 🙂

Use a tractor vehicle in a play dough farm small world activity.

  We explored footprints and tire impressions in the play dough.    

Child pressing a toy tractor into a farm play dough activity, with tractor tracks in the play dough.

  The pigs had the mud to themselves…

Farm play dough small world with miniature pigs in brown play dough

  …and all of the birds stayed in the “lake”.

Play dough farm with chicken, ducks, and geese minifigures.

   And then all of the animals got hot and had to take a dip in the lake 🙂  

Farm animals in play dough in a play dough small world

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.  

Play Dough Animals

We thought it was pretty funny to make animal impressions in the play dough, too. These cute little play dough animals were not only a fun fine motor activity, it also is a great tool for developing skills like visual perceptual skills and visual discrimination as well as form constancy too. This is a great way to work on fine motor strength and visual motor skills such as visual closure.

The play dough animals were little hollow impressions of the plastic animals.

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.

Press animal mini figures into play dough to guess the animal by shape.

And then back to the farm we went.  And the animals took a few joy rides on their cars and trucks!  

Goose toy on a farm tractor in a play dough small world farm activity

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:

Free Farm themed Scissor Skills Sheets

You’ll also love our Fine Motor Kits:

Working on fine motor skills, visual perception, visual motor skills, sensory tolerance, handwriting, or scissor skills? Our Fine Motor Kits cover all of these areas and more.

Check out the seasonal Fine Motor Kits that kids love:

Or, grab one of our themed Fine Motor Kits to target skills with fun themes:

Want access to all of these kits…and more being added each month? Join The OT Toolbox Member’s Club!

Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to

7 thoughts on “Farm Small World Play Dough Activity”

  1. I just LOVE this! Aarya is so NOT into playdough and I totally feel sad. I am going to try this and see where it takes us.

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farm small world

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