Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

It’s been a while since we did anything for the Virtual Book Club for Kids, but when I saw this month’s author was Margaret Wise Brown I immediately thought of this book. Big Red Barn has been a hit with my little ones since we discovered it at the library a year or so ago. The illustrations and text are so clear and engaging. My son enjoys me reading it to him as well as reading it himself and there’s lots of little things to notice on each page.

We checked out the book and I decided we would set up a small world play scene based on the book. I mostly used what we had on hand, but I also picked up a couple of cute things at the craft store. Who knew they made miniature bales of hay?!

Small World Play

Here’s a big list of what we used:

Normally we set up scenes together, but this time I surprised him with it one morning. He loved it!

Hay and the Fields

One of the things I’m working on with him is compare and contrast. So after he had played for a while, we looked at the book together and pointed out what things were the same and different between the book and our farm. He’s very observant and notices lots of details, so this is a good exercise for him.

Goat Dog and Duck

Even though he didn’t participate in the original setup, he still used his own creativity to add more things (monkeys may have come to visit) and there was lots of storytelling while he played.

I didn’t expect this, but he also looked through the book and acted out some of the scenes as they are depicted on a page. I was really amazed that he did that!

Big Red Barn

Needless to say, he got a lot of play out of this relatively simple setup. The only things I bought were the tools and hay.


This is a wonderful book for observation, creative play and storytelling. Look for it if you have a little one who enjoys animals like mine does.

Small World Play with Big Red Barn


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