2016 Farm-to-Fork Gift Guide: Kid Edition

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Know a preschooler who can’t get enough of building, constructing and creating new things out of simple pieces? Block Mates Farm Animals turn basic wooden blocks into imaginative livestock toys. If you don’t already have some, the blocks can be picked up separately for under $20.

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No farm toys gift guide could ever be complete without Schleich, and I am in love with the new Cow on Pasture set this year. Look at that little milker! Of course, if you’re buying for a kid who is already a Schleich aficionado, you can always add on to their set with feed accessories or a farm pets set complete with mini-donkey and wheelbarrow. And if you’re just introducing a child to the world of miniature farm figures, you can’t go wrong with the Farm Starter Set either.

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Soft, stuffed toys seem to go in and out of style over the years. Sure, most kids grow up with at least one or two special stuffed animals, but not every generation of kids grows up with a collection of cuddly playthings. Luckily for kids right now, the trend seems to be on the upswing. From giant teddy bears to soft versions of trucks, planes and food, stuffed animals are back in. Ikea is probably not the least of the reasons for this. Their bins full of pigs is one of my favorite places in the warehouse. Bonus: their stuffed toy options are super affordable! The 9-piece fruit basket, 14-piece vegetable set and pig are all under $8, and the chicken is under $4!

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There are plenty of things I’ve spent money on for my kids that I ultimately end up regretting, or at least acknowledging that it wasn’t the best use of that five, ten or many more dollars. For instance, just a couple weeks ago one of my kids convinced me to drop five dollars and some change on an elf costume for her guinea pig. Books however, no matter the cost, have never been one of those things. Even when they are long since outgrown and passed along to some other kid, I have never and will never regret spending on books. Every year, every member of our family has at least one new thing to read under the tree. These are a few of our farm and food themed favorites for kids.

Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle
The Cow in Patrick O’Shanahan’s Kitchen by yours truly
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

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For the endlessly curious kids on your list, those who have veterinarian goals, or those who just love seeing the inner workings of things, TEDCO’s 4-D Anatomy puzzles are a blast. And they double as display models when they’re not in use. There’s a cow, pig, chicken, horse, dog and several non-farm models such as dolphins too.

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An aquatic herb garden atop a Betta fish aquarium, brings two of the greatest benefits of a farm-upbringing inside: responsibility for another living thing and peak-fresh food.