Art is a great tool for learning. By creating farm animals out of cardboard, felt and paper your child will focus on the animal’s body parts, colors and details such as facial parts. Our Cardboard Farm Animals and Barn Art Activity is a wonderful extension to a farm animals study unit.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE CARDBOARD FARM ANIMALS AND BARN ART ACTIVITY
cardboard pieces for animals- medium size rectangles, small squares, skinny long rectangles and small triangles
3 large cardboard rectangles and a large trapezoid for the barn
colored construction paper
pieces of felt
beads, buttons, googly eyes
containers of glue
red, black and white paint
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT ENHANCED BY THE CARDBOARD FARM ANIMALS AND BARN ART
fine motor development
scientific exploration (animal parts)
HOW TO SET UP THE CARDBOARD FARM ANIMALS AND BARN ART ACTIVITY
Prior to the activity cut pieces of cardboard into different shapes such as medium size rectangles, small squares, skinny long rectangles and small triangles. Sort them by shape and place on a tray. Cut small pieces of construction paper and felt if you have it. Think colors of the animals you saw. I used shades of brown, gray, white, black and pink. I also put out some cotton balls to mimic the puffiness of the sheep. Sort by color and place on trays. A small container of buttons or beads is a nice addition for small details like eyes. Each child will also receive a small amount of glue and a brush. I find it helpful to put the glue on a container top such the kid that come with yogurt or mayo.
Begin by having each child pick a farm animal they want to create. It is helpful to have some photographs printed out from a farm trip or some farm books as a reference point. Demonstrate how you can use the different cardboard shapes to make the body parts. “Let’s look at the pig. It has a body. Hmm, this large piece would work well. What else does the pig have? A head! Let’s glue this smaller piece on as a head.” Show how you can brush a small amount of glue on the cardboard to stick pieces together.
Remind your children that the glue will take time to dry and the cardboard animals needs to remain on the table. Next add the construction paper, felt pieces, and buttons. Demonstrate how you only need a small amount of glue to stick the pieces on the cardboard.
Like with all children’s art projects it is important to focus on the process over the product. If your child wants to make his sheep pink with 7 eyes go for it! The process of creating art and exploring the materials is more important than how the art looks in the end.
TIME TO MAKE THE CARDBOARD BARN!
What would a farm be without a place to keep the animals? You will need large pieces of cardboard for this fun barn activity! Begin by cutting three large rectangles of equal size (I use a large sharp knife). Tape them together with packing tape or masking tape (you can use duck tape, but it is harder to paint over). Next cut a large trapezoid shaped cardboard piece to fit on top as the roof. Secure it with more tape. Cut a rectangle shaped hole at the bottom of your rectangle to make a door. Give your children red paint (be brave!) and paint the whole cardboard barn. Be prepared that this will be a little messy. If you are concerned with the mess place newspaper on the floor of the painting area. Quinn noticed that the barn we visited had white Xs on it so he added those too!
Your children can play with their animals in the barn too. We sang “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and used the animals as props. So much fun!