Way back when I was doing childcare in 2003 or so I went to a childcare conference and there was a lady there that was selling home made props for circle time. I spent my money and bought this barn. I was so hesitant about buying as it was $30. That was a lot for me to spend back then. I am so glad I did though. I used it a lot. Then when I took a five year break from childcare I had debated about getting rid of it, but instead I bought a HUGE tote and put all of the things that I thought I couldn’t live without if I was ever to start childcare again. This went in the tote.
I’m so glad it did because I did start childcare again and it is one of the kids’ favorite things. Right now I have LOTS of little ones that need to learn to talk….there are SIX of them!! All with only a few words. I’ve found that starting with animal sounds is a great way to get them learning to talk regular words.
The prop hangs around my neck like an apron. The door opens and inside are farm animals.
I’ve always wanted to make more farm animals….ALWAYS. I’ve wanted to do this from the time I bought it but never did. FINALLY I did it!!
I think I was nervous because I didn’t have a pattern. Then I looked at the animals that came with the original barn and saw how simple they were. I grabbed a scissor and started cutting the felt. I was pretty happy with my progress.
I did a quick simple seam around the outside. I added a little stuffing and sewed them shut. Then a little time with the glue gun and they were finished. Here’s how they look….
They aren’t perfect but good enough. The kiddos will love the addition of the new animals. The kids don’t handle the animals much so they don’t need to be super sturdy.
If anyone knows of an Etsy shop or someone who makes good circle time props that I can use with my kiddos are childcare, please tell me about them. I am always on the lookout for good learning activities for the kids.
I love your animals, Jo! Every year we lovingly hang felt animal Christmas ornaments that my MIL made over 45 years ago now. I will try to take some pictures when we get them out in a few weeks. The hippo choir is my favorite—and she did what you did, just made it up as she went along. Fun!
How about a coloring book? You might have to reduce the pattern, but it would still give you some ideas – you could expand to jungle animals – giraffe, monkey, etc.
If they do not have to be felt Tractor Supply has a lot of small animals. I purchased some to go with a barn from a big toy company….they also have a lot of different horses which we used with the barn…..They are plastic but then could be played with outside this activity…..
Jo- These are adorable! So much cuter than someone else’s pattern because you made them yourself! I think you did an excellent job! I love the apron too. I am sure the kids will love cockadoodle dooing! Thanks for sharing your life with us. K-