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Creating the Farm

Being a huge fan of inspirational lifestyle blogs, I jumped at the chance to invite Amanda to guest post this month. I'm super excited to introduce to you to the lovely Amanda of PaperForts.

Amanda is a super creative mama who is always thinking up new and exciting experiences for her little one to engage her imagination in art and life. Her post on potato stamping with her daughter totally encouraged me to get over my fear of painting with my toddler. Plus, her great taste, zest for home reno, and general perspective on life has encouraged me to undertake a few projects of my own while reminding myself to keep things in perspective. Welcome Amanda!

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One of the things I looked forward to most about being a parent was the opportunity to engage with my children in creative ways. I have always been a creative type and sharing this love of making with my children was going to be a priority for me. Fast-forward to today – I have a wonderful daughter, Ella, 23 months, who is now more than capable of tackling a myriad of projects and activities with me. So I’ve been busy exercising my creative juices to come up with new ideas for both of us.

A month ago, I wrote my first post on my own blog about designing a creative activity for her that would compliment a real world experience. This month, I've created a farm sensory box activity to compliment Stroller Strides’ May theme: THE FARM.

Ella has a pretty good handle on farm animals and the sounds they make, but one area we’ve yet to talk much about is where the animals live. If you’re like us (meaning, have a child over a year old), you probably have just a few plastic barnyard figurines lying around the house. I gathered all of ours up, along with a shallow plastic bin, and we headed outside to construct habitats for each of the animals from items in our own backyard.

I used thin strips of cardboard (let's call them fences) to create five separate areas in the bin for varying types of natural material: grass (pasture), small twigs and pine needles (hay), dirt (mud), water bowl (pond), gravel and other ground up material (chicken pen). I then set Ella loose in our yard to gather all of the materials to make a suitable home for each of the farm animals in our collection.

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We had a great time roaming around our yard looking for materials and some of the neighborhood kids joined in to help us out. We even borrowed a few things out of the pantry to help complete our project (smashing Cheerio's for chicken feed was so much fun). And after it was all done, Ella spent a long time just playing with the animals in their new habitats, bathing them in the pond, and then eventually creating her own flood of sorts. This is definitely an activity I can see us repeating this summer, perhaps after a visit to the zoo or Domino's Petting Farm.

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A great wrap-up for our Farm theme! Now it's your turn: I want to see your own farm sensory boxes! Send them via jordannelson (at) fit4mom (dot) com.

And of course, thanks for sharing Amanda! Be sure to head over and visit her wonderfully inspiring blog, paperForts.

P.S. - Here's some more inspiration for some fun toddler friendly farm activities to try at home!

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