Wooden Oldfield farm play set – John Crane

With my Craniac hat on, I now present to you our second review for John Crane wooden toys, this particular toy from their Tidlo range is the Oldfield Farm. It comes in beautifully painted pieces which need assembling into houses, barns, stys and cow shed. They very kindly provide all of the nails and a mini Phillips screwdriver.

The instructions are very easy to follow and the whole assembly took just over 20 minutes. Just one thing, I couldn’t get on with the screwdriver provided as it was too large a head for the nails and taking forever so I resorted to my trusted Christmas Cracker screwdriver and sailed through the job in no time.

The finished product comprises two boards painted with grass areas, a pond and yellow areas for roads and spaces surrounding the houses, each piece has a removable roof fixed by two magnets so children can open them and use the areas for more creative play and the barn comes with a ladder that clips onto the side which has caused hours of fun and torment in this house. The ladder only rests by means of two grooves on the top legs, this means a small child’s heavy handed ‘walking a person up the ladder’ causes the ladder to fall to the ground and a frustrated toddler!

The farm does not come with animals but there are plenty on offer through various online retailers and we had our set within 3 days. John Crane also sent along with the farm set a family of people which are absolutely gorgeous. They are beautifully made from wood, their legs and arms move and they have woollen hair and brightly coloured cotton clothes, my girls immediately distinguished them as a family calling them mummy, daddy, little boy and little girl and this family frequently move out of the farm and are found playing all over the house! We also got a tractor which is made of two pieces held together by a sturdy rope and the girls love it, they fill up the back with all the animals and cart them around the front room.

They really enjoy playing with the farm set and it’s lovely to watch them converse as they play. We are currently potty training (or trying to) and it made me smile to see Alice holding a pig and saying, ‘I need a wee-wee mummy’ and replying ‘Let’s find the potty’ I’m pleased the pig has understood the wee = potty process but I so wish she would too!

Personally I found it very refreshing to play with a toy that isn’t girly and allowed the girls to expand their knowledge of animals, people and role play and if there is one thing I will have to look out for next time I’m at the supermarket it’s a big box to store all the bits in to keep it in good condition and to prevent losing pieces. But a definite thumbs up from us, beautifully presented, easy to assemble, sturdy, excellent quality and a toy that can be handed down for generations to come.

Have a look at a short video of the girls playing with it, it definitely brings a smile to my face


  1. Sharon
    October 22, 2013 / 9:52 PM

    Hi Mari,

    Thanks for sharing the video of your girls playing with the farm. We were thinking of buying the farm for our 2 year old and it was v useful to see it in action.

    I wondered where you got the animals from – we want to get realistic looking ones but were not sure about size etc

    many thanks!

    Sharon – Mum to Anna (5) and Elliott (2)

    • October 24, 2013 / 8:55 AM

      I found them in a plastic bag in a pound shop in all honesty. I bought them to tide me over as the nice ones are about £5 each. They worked fine and I never needed to buy the more expensive ones either.

  2. November 7, 2014 / 4:16 PM

    How’s the farm holding up? We sell these in the shop I work in, John Crane toys are fantastic but we never get to hear how they hold up after a few years. Are your two still enjoying it? Is it still in one piece? :P

    • November 7, 2014 / 9:32 PM

      John, thanks for asking, my twins are now 6 and haven’t played with the farm set for a while so I sold it on eBay in PERFECT condition even though it has been a very well used and much loved toy.
      I’m pleased to say it kept it’s value and I was very pleased with the auction which goes to prove that investing in wooden toys really does pay off.
      Here is the note I received on my eBay account today

      Dear maris_world,

      Hi Marianne, thought I’d let you know. The farm arrived today. It’s super, my little boy is going to be delighted. Many thanks Rachael

      – rachf1978

      • November 8, 2014 / 1:29 PM

        Excellent, glad to hear it seasoned well, thanks for the feedback. It’s just nice to find out whether the kinds of toys we sell really do last. Cheers :)

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