Animal Week - DIY Doll Cow Milking Station - Summer On The Farm 2019
Welcome, campers, to your first day on the farm!
When we want some milk to pair with cookies or pour on our cereal, we usually just grab a carton straight out the fridge. But what about the farmers of the olden days? They didn’t have packaged cartons from the grocery store, and surely not a modern refrigerator!
If you lived back then, much of your food would came straight from the field or barn. In fact, the farm girl’s chores didn’t consist of just cooking meals— she also had to gather the ingredients! Her first task of the day (and perhaps the most important one) was to milk the cows.
Cows produce milk for 11 months after a baby calf is born. The liquid is produced in a special sac-like organ called the udder, and milk is released through a gentle squeeze of the hand. The average cow will yield six to seven gallons of milk per day. Long ago on the homestead, the farmer (or farm girl!) would place a stool on one side of the cow with bucket underneath the udder. A cow may be given some hay or grain to munch on; the milking process takes about 10-15 minutes when done by hand, and must be done twice or even three times a day. Once the udders are nearly empty, the farmer is left with a bucket of warm, fresh milk to put in the icebox. However, thanks to modern technology, many dairy farmers use automatic milking machines that can milk a cow in less than four minutes! That’s udderly amazing!
One of the key components in milk is lactose, a natural sugar that adds a slight sweetness to the liquid. Many people like Blaire Wilson are lactose intolerant, meaning they cannot digest the lactose sugar in milk, cheese, butter, and cream without causing stomach aches and uncomfortable cramps. So, what to do if you can’t drink or eat dairy products? Some who are only mildly allergic to lactose can actually consume goat’s milk, which does not contain as much lactose. However, if you’re very sensitive to this certain dairy sugar, lactose-free milk or even almond milk allow you to enjoy dairy products without the stomach pain! A little creativity can also help “cure” lactose intolerance— despite dairy-free challenges of her own, Blaire Wilson is still able to enjoy many of the foods she loves by using different ingredients in the place of dairy.
Ready to help your doll start milking her own cow (or goat)? Grab your supplies for a moo-velous craft!
Small bathroom cup
Grey paint and paintbrush
Communion cups (Dollar General mini party cups) OR doll cups
School glue or hot glue
Miniature glass bottles (Optional)
Instructions for Milk Pail
1. To begin making the milk pail, paint the bathroom cup silver on the outside and inside.
2. Cut a thin strip of grey cardstock measuring 6 inches long.
3. Hot glue one end of the strip to the inside of the pail, then glue the other end directly across from it.
4. Add several cotton balls in the pail to represent milk.
Instructions for Milk Jugs
Your doll will need something to store all of her fresh milk, so we’re going to create milk jugs!
For this craft, I recommend using small glass jars like the ones shown above. These were purchased in a set of eight at Hobby Lobby, and can be used for many different crafts!
1. Take a cotton ball and gently roll into a tube shape. Slide the cotton ball through the opening of the jar. Use a pair of tweezers to adjust the cotton ball in the jar as you like, and your doll is ready to sip (or share!) some of her delicious, fresh milk!
Instructions for Cups of Milk
Using a doll cup you already have on hand OR small communion cups, press two or three cotton balls into the cup to create a refreshing glass of milk for your dolls to enjoy! *Crafter's Tip: lightly wet your finger and run across the top cotton ball to create a smooth surface.
Activity: Make (and SHAKE!) Your Own Butter!
If you want to take your experience with diary to the next level, then try your hand at making homemade butter! Butter is easy to make, and it's simply delicious! All you need is a mason jar and heavy whipping cream. Follow the tutorial above, provided by the Stay At Home Chef, and you'll soon whip up some scrumptious homemade butter for friends and family to enjoy!
Penney’s Farm Journal
You’ll never guess what I did today— Blaire taught me how to milk a cow! And this cow wasn’t just any old regular animal. I had to work with a mischievous one named Maybelle, and my goodness, was she a handful! It all started like this…
I shot up in bed, eyes wide and pillows flying. What was that?
BOCK, bock bock bock!
That’s when I remembered. I was at Pleasant View Farms!
The chilling thrill of unknown adventures ahead surged through my body. I practically flew out of the bed! Stretching like a barn cat, I smiled as a ray of warm sunshine washed over me through the window. Now I understood why Blaire’s parents had chosen that name for their land— this place truly did have a pleasant view.
The serene, peaceful silence was calming, but it didn’t last long.
And just like that, the farm seemed to come alive. Farmhands were up and about all over the barnyard, animals scurried around, and I noticed a tiny speck waving at me from the ground beneath my window.
Actually, that tiny speck happened to be Blaire, and she beckoned to me hurriedly with a bright grin on her face. I had to get dressed— quick! A day of farm chores awaited me.
I wiggled into shirt Blaire had made me, along with a pair of jeans from home. Then I dashed down the stairs, sped across the yard, and finally made it inside the barn where Blaire was waiting.
Upon my entrance, a loud MOO rose up from the cow Blaire was sitting next to. Blaire chuckled and gestured toward the noisy creature.
“I suppose Maybelle wanted to introduce herself this morning. Anyways,” she continued, shaking her head of auburn curls, “Welcome to your first job on the farm!”
Ah, so I was milking the cow! Seemed easy enough.
“How do I start?” I asked, rubbing my hands in anticipation.
“Well, I’ve already milked her halfway, but you can finish for me.” Blaire went through a brief demonstration of the milking process, carefully pointing out certain details in each step. I could imagine myself sitting there, happily milking Maybelle, barn cats meowing at my feet as I continued my work…
“Alright! Got that, Penney?”
Oops. Maybe I hadn’t exactly heard the last part of what Blaire had been saying, but hey, how hard could this actually be?
As I nodded my head, Blaire jumped up from the bale of hay she was sitting on and I flopped down next to Maybelle.
“Now, just remember what I said, and you’ll be fine.”
For the first few minutes, everything went smooth like cream. I glanced up to see Blaire beaming down at me as I worked, which seemed like a good sign! Slowing down for just a second, I smiled back at Blaire and opened my mouth to speak. But ever so quickly, the delight on Blaire’s face flashed into panic.
“Oh wait! Penney, keep milking or—“
CRASH, SPLASH and MOOOOO!!
I gasped in shock as milk spilled from the overturned bucket, flowing straight in every direction on the dirt floor.
Blaire sighed, and finished her sentence, “Maybelle will kick over the bucket.”
So that’s what Blaire had tried to warn me about earlier! I bit my lip hard, but somehow my eyes still pooled with tears.
“Oh-oh Blaire, I’m very sorry…”
Blaire shook the disappointment from her face and smiled with sympathy. “Don’t worry one bit, Penney. Maybelle’s kicked over my bucket lots of times before, and like Granny used to say, ‘There’s no use in crying over spilled milk.’ “
A couple barn cats immediately appeared, and Blaire giggled. “Besides, at least we have an eager clean up crew!”
I managed to smile at Blaire’s joke, but inside, my stomach held a sinking feeling. Helping out on the farm wasn’t as easy as I thought. Would I ever master the chores like Blaire? Then an even more alarming thought came—would I be able to make it through four weeks here?
Cow - Retired American Girl item
Barn cats - American Girl
Penney's bedding - Ellie and Rose Boutique
Hay bales - Hobby Lobby
Metal milk cans - Hobby Lobby
Penney appears to be having a rough first day on the farm— will she learn that it takes time to grow in new things? Follow her farm adventures to find out!
If you complete a craft or want to share a photo of your doll at camp, snap a picture and send it in, OR share on Instagram using the hashtag #DollFarmCamp2019 to be featured in the Farm Flashback each Sunday!