Three months after discovering ‘Animals of Farthing Wood’ and Finny is still in love with the stories.


  • The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood Treasury by Colin Dann
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood Pop-Up Book by Colin Dann
  • Shoe box
  • Coloured paper
  • Pencil
  • Coloured pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue


Reading the book

Finny read me the start of his new Treasury, explaining that, “It was probably called that because they are special books to treasure!”.

His small world tray

Having previously looked at the human impact on Farthing Wood, he proudly showed me the small world tray he had set up of White Deer Park.

Book in a box

Finny decided to make his entire ‘book in a box’ independently, but kindly suggested that I might enjoy watching him make it. He started off by measuring how much grass he would need to line the bottom of his shoe box.

He trimmed the extra green paper off the depth, then put the green paper inside the shoe box and folded the excess, to see how much he needed to cut off the width.

Then the sky was cut to size and stuck on the inside of the box lid.

He drew a couple of trees and worked out where to position them.

Finny found that one of his trees kept falling off because he had attached it with the box lid wide open, but when he lifted the lid up it knocked off the top of his tree. He had to move it down to keep it in position.

Finny cut down the joins at the front of the shoe box, so he could fold it down. He measured the grass to size and cut it out.

The grass was stuck to the fold down flap, along with a river and some stones inside the box.

Then a small rock for his adder to sleep under.

Making the characters

Finny made the body for his badger by cutting, folding, rolling and sticking some dark grey paper.

He cut out a white strip of paper for the badgers belly.

Finny cut out some more grey paper, sticking it together to make a cube for the badger’s head. He drew the badger’s face on a piece of white paper, with a small trip of grey down the middle of his nose.

He cut out the grey to make the rest of the badger’s face.

The final feature was a special loop of paper attached to the back of his badger, to hold his mole in place. In Animals of Farthing Wood, Mole regularly gets tired on the walk from Farthing Wood to White Deer Park, needing a ride on Badger’s back. This was Finny’s solution.

The finished tray and box

He finished off by drawing his scene.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 09 – Reading:

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 16 – Exploring and using media and materials:

Children safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

ELG 17 – Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.