Farm playsets are great learning and imaginative-play toys – with loads for tractor-driving, barn-door-opening, animal-naming, animal-feeding, animal-shepherding fun.

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We've hunted down the best farm toys from for children all ages from 10 months and up. We looked at plastic sets and wooden sets, and assessed everything from all-singing sound-and-lights farms to farms with clever, detailed accessories to simple farms that offer great play value for money. And we chose the ones that stood out from the crowd for quality, novelty, detail and price.

Here's our pick of the best toy farms for toddlers, preschoolers and older children…

1. Playmobil My Takealong Farm, £35.99

– Great for toddlers

My Take Along Farm

Age suitability: 18 months+ | Best for age: 18 months+ | Batteries: None

What is it: A 28cm x 38cm 17-piece toddler farm set, with a carry handle on the roof. Comes with farmer, 5 animals and other accessories including a water trough and a kennel. Inside the roof, the loft is also a shape sorter for the animals' food, as well as a storage area for all the other pieces.

Why we love it: The chunky, rounded animals and accessories are easy for little hands to grab hold of and the shape sorter in the loft is a lovely touch. We like that toddlers can open the farmhouse up by themselves and – you never know – stow everything back inside before they pick it up and cart it around.

Available at: Amazon and Playmobil

2. Le Toy Van The Farmyard, £69.95

– Great realistic look

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 3+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A 58cm x 42cm x 24cm rubberwood farmyard set that includes a large barn with hay loft, a milking parlour, a stable, and a pigsty. Comes with movable fences. Animals and play figures sold separately. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It's a super high quality, easy-to-assemble wooden set, really charmingly painted in (non toxic) muted colours. It's a shame that it doesn't come with any characters or animals, but the detailing is gorgeous (even the loft has painted floorboards). We particularly like the loft ladder and the pigsty.

Available at: Le Toy Van

3. B toys by Battat Baa-Baa-Barn Musical Farm Set, £57.99

– Great for musical fun

Age suitability: 2+| Best for age: 2+ | Batteries: 2 AA batteries (included)

What it is: A 47cm x 22cm x 32cm plastic animal farm with sounds and lights, opening doors, a spinning windmill, a sliding mouse, and a bat lurking under the opening loft roof. Comes with a moveable cow, sheep, pig and horse, a carry handle and 2 rattle balls to roll down the silo tower.

Why we love it: There's so much going in in this set! The animals sing when you place them in the right place, the chicken jumps when the mouse slides by, there's a friendly bunny lurking behind a door – and there's loads of flashing lights and music fun. The animals' colours might be a bit garish for some – and, although we like the silo tower with its rattle balls, you'll have to watch that you child doesn't stick the animals down it, as once in, they're pretty hard to get out.

Available at: BToys and Amazon

4. Schleich Large Farm House, £79.99

– Great for accessories

Schleich Farm World Large Farm House

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A 70cm x 45cm x 33cm farmhouse and stable with a loft winch, detachable roofs, opening windows and an outdoor area with modular fences. The farmhouse has a kitchen, dining area and bedroom. Comes with 2 farmers, a cow, calf, donkey foal, dog, cat, pig and mouse, as well as multiple accessories and a sticker sheet. Requires some self-assembly.

Why we love it: It's pricey for a plastic playset but the quality and play value is top-notch. We particularly like the detail in the accessories – that include everything from hay bales and carrots to mattresses, duvets, an oven and plates – and the fact that the male farmer figure had moveable arms and hands that grasp both the pitchfork and the wheelbarrow.

Available at: Amazon and Smyths Toys

5. Melissa & Doug Fold & Go Barn, £37.99

– Great for travelling

melissa and doug fold and go barn

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 3+ | Batteries: None

What is is: A 34cm x 28cm x 19cm 2 storey wooden barn that opens up and has sliding doors and a carry handle. Comes with 7 plastic animals, a wooden ladder and a folding fenced pen.

Why we love it: It's nice and sturdy and a good size for a portable playset. We like all the little rooms for the animals inside and we're quite taken by the turkey (you don't see those often in play farms!) but we wish it had a little latch to keep it really firmly closed when you fold it and pick it up.

Available at: Amazon and Uber Kids

6. Eichhorn Farm, £43.04

– Great for older children

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 5+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A 33cm x 45cm x 18cm, 25-piece beechwood farmhouse-and-stable set with a colourful baseboard, windows and doors that open, 10 fences, 11 plastic farm animals and 1 plastic figure.

Why we love it: We like the painted vegetable plot and pond, and the stone-edged path between the farmhouse and stable – lots there to spark some super-imaginative farm play – and there are plenty of animals to move around. The base is a little bit flimsy, though – so, although it's sold as suitable from age 3, we think it's better for an older child.

Available at: Amazon

7. Big Steps Play Old MacDonald Farmhouse & Tractor Set, £39.99

– Great for learning animal sounds

Big Steps Play Old MacDonald Farm & Tractor

Age: 12 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: 5 x AA (only demo ones included)

What it is: A plastic farmhouse, with a moving tractor that makes engine and horn sounds, plus a trailer. Comes with 5 moveable animals, who make noises when put in the right place, a tree with fruits that play music when pressed, and a farmer who sings as he drives.

Why we love it: We like the strong sound and sorting element in this chunky, good-value toddler set, rewarding your child with a moo, oink or a neigh when they put an animal in the right spot in the farmhouse. We love the little mouse peeking from the barn roof and how all 5 moveable animals can fit nicely into the trailer so you can take them together for a little ride.

Available at: Smyths Toys

8. Lanka Kade Farm Building Blocks, £26.50

– Great for little builders

Lanka Kade Farm Building Blocks

Age suitability: 10 months+ | Best for age: 12 months+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A Fairtrade rubberwood, farm-themed, 49-piece building block set, including a horse, cow, sheep, pig, dog and 2 farmer figures. Painted with non-toxic paints.

Why we love it: The wooden blocks are cheerfully painted and grabbily chunky and, as well as the animals to identify and move around, there's lots of scope here to build and balance, colour-match, sort – and knock down. We really like the windmill.

Available at: Babipur

9. Tender Leaf Farm, £80

– Great for imaginative play

Tender Leaf Farm

Age suitability 3+ | Best for age: 3+| Batteries: None

What it is: A contemporary 51cm x 22cm x 38.5cm playset made from sustainable wood and coloured with non-toxic paint. It includes a barn with opening doors, feeding trough, two stables, a hay loft and ladder, pulley system, cowshed, fences and a selection of wooden animals.

Why we love it: There are so many elements for children to enjoy here, with plenty of farm animals (perfectly sized for little hands) to create endless make-believe stories. The magnetic pulley, which helps lift hay bales up to the hay loft, is great fun to use, and we thought the addition of a mini bee hive was a cute touch.

Available at: KIDLY, Bright New Things and Tenderleaf Toys

10. Chad Valley Wooden Farm, £25

– Great for plenty of animals

Chad Valley Farm

Age suitability: 3+ | Best for age: 4+ | Batteries: None

What it is: A 60cm x 50cm x 32cm 2-storey wooden farmhouse and barn with outdoor pen (with opening doors) and a painted base. Comes with little wooden trees, tractor, feeding troughs, dog, cat, rabbits, horses, pigs, chicken, cows and sheep.

Why we love it: It's a nice big wooden farm for the money, and you get a lot of livestock with it – that pen's going to be pretty crowded! The buildings slot together, so it's a little less sturdy than a glued or screwed set (and definitely not for under-3s) but it's certainly not flimsy. We like the fox in the corner – don't let him catch those chickens!

Available from: Argos

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About the author

Helen Brown is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author of Parenting for Dummies (Wiley, £17.99) and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and she's also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.

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