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Create a farm house, churn your own butter or stuff a few farm animals for the classroom bulletin board. Enhance farm themes and curriculums with these activites that involve pre-school and kindergarten children in active learning experiences.

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Preschool Farm Theme Activities

Easter Lambs
Cristina S-M. offers this activity saying, "I used this in our Sunday School class, but if you alter it you can make a wonderful discussion about farm animals."

Materials: White, brown or black yarn, card stock cut out in small gord/ pear shapes (this will be the lambs body).  Also clothespins, a black marker to mark the nose and eyes, pre-cut ears and a tail out of construction paper and glue.

Description: Pass out the pre-cut lambs shapes and enough yarn to cover the  body. You may want to glue the end of a strand of yarn to the body ahead of time so the children have somewhere to get started.  The children will wrap the yarn around the body until you can't see the paper, with the exception of the nose and eyes.  Next, children will glue on ears and tails.  They will put on the clothespins for legs, two per lamb.

Comments: If children have a hard time with one long string, several small strings may be used, glueing the ends or teacher may knot the ends as well.

"Milk the Cow"
Ariane M. offers this activity to help children experience how to milk a cow.

Materials: 1 latex glove for every two children and about 1/4 of a cup of milk.

 Description: When I did the activity I had the children put pour the milk in the latex glove and I put small holes at the tips of the finger part and had the   children start from the top of the finger part and squeeze down or as I said, "Milk the Cow".

farm art activityArt Activity:"Corncob Painting"
Susan S. suggests this art activity for your farm theme.

 Materials: Dried corncobs, paint, paper and styrofoam trays.

Description: Put paint into trays. Children now roll corncobs in the paint and then onto the paper to make designs. The corncobs can also be used as a paint brush.

farm art activityFeathered Friends
 While studying farm animals Shauna R. helps preschool children make a feathered animal that you see on a farm.

 Materials: Gold and orange yarn, and brown rice.

 Description: Teachers pre cut a duck for all of your children. Then give each child a handful of gold and orange yarn cut into small pieces. The gold yarn is used for the beak of the duck. Then you use the orange yarn for the feet. The children then spread glue over the rest of the ducks body, pouring rice over the glue. Pour enough to make a thick coat. Dump the excess rice and BAM you have a feathered friend.

Comments: I did the activity with my 3 and 4 year olds and they loved using the rice to make a animal. A lot of them only thought of rice as a delicious meal item.

Chicken Eggs: Outside and Inside 
This pre-k & kindergarten activity by Sharon Y. can also be used during a multicultural theme.

Materials: White, brown and any other color eggs.

Description: Children will look at the outside of white and brown eggs (also green if available). Compare what is the same and what is different. Crack the eggs in separate containers and see how they are the same. Children of different colors look different on the outside, but are the same inside.

 Science Project: Incubating and Hatching Eggs
Mae-Lena H. shares this week long science project for preschool and kindergarten children saying, "The children will predict when eggs will hatch, as well as how many will and how many won't. They observe the eggs throughout the process and then watch as the eggs hatch and chicks are born."

Materials: Incubator- store bought or homemade, 2 spot lights, 15-20 watt light bulbs, 2 thermometers, warm water, coffee cup, brooder box, fertile eggs from a hatchery and 2 can lids.

Description: To make the incubator get one large cardboard box, and put in a 
slightly smaller cardboard box. Cut a hole in the top to add light. We used a spot light and then screwed it in place. I also added small hand towels in the bottom to cushion the eggs.

Cover the front with cardboard, cutting a rectangle in this piece so that children can see. To cover the rectangle use a sheet protector. This was excellent to use because it was clear and the children were able to observe the eggs. Try lights with the wattages to make sure you have the correct temperature. It should be 96 to 98 degrees. Have the incubator on two or three days prior to adding the eggs to make sure the temperature is  correct. Then add eggs (we were able to get eight eggs from the hatchery). Add a coffee cup with warm water to the incubator to provide humidity. 

We planned for the eggs to hatch one week from introducing activity to children so that they would have time to observe, and anticipate when the eggs would hatch. While waiting for eggs to hatch, make a brooder box by using the same type of light for the incubator (ours had a clamp, so we just clamped it to the side of the box). The temperature should be about the same for the brooder box as incubator. The box can be any size, just make sure it's large enough so that chicks can't jump out because they will try. When the chicks begin to hatch, wait until they are completely dry before moving them to the brooder box.

Use lids from jars for water and food. For food you can use grits or cornmeal. Keep chicks in class long enough for children to see and watch their behavior.
I had so many questions about why the chicks behaved the way they did. I also made a chart with questions such as when did the children think that the eggs would hatch, how many of the eggs would, how many wouldn't, and if they all would hatch? An egg book can also be made for children by letting them draw what they think the chicks will look like, and  combining the classes drawings into a book. 

Comments: The reason I chose for the eggs to hatch in about a week was that I wanted children to have an understanding that things don't always happen when we want them to. My children were very interested and stayed interested in this activity throughout the process. I did run into a problem though, all of the eggs hatched overnight except for one. And then that one hatched that afternoon when most of the children were already gone. So only a few children actually saw the eggs hatch. 

It's Harvest Time!
Robyn suggests this Farm activity which is especially suitable for the Fall season.
Group Discussion
Fall is the time where the fruits and vegetables that have been growing since spring are ready to be picked or "harvested". The farmers need to harvest all  the vegetables and pick all the fruits before it gets too cold.

 Dramatic Play: "Down on then Farm"
 One bandana or scarf per child
 Wheelbarrow or wagon
 Assorted real or plastic fruits and vegetables
You can do this activity outside if weather permits. Tie a bandanna or scarf around each child's neck and have them pretend to be farmers. Lay the fruits and vegetables around the room or around the yard and pretend to harvest all the food and put them in a wagon or wheelbarrow. Let each child take a turn filling up the wheelbarrow. 

Farm Mural
Promote preschool learning about farm animals and what a farm may look like with this early childhood project by Wendy H.

Materials: Large sheets of newsprint paper, red and green paint, easel and paint brushes. Later you will need pink, brown, black, yellow, and white paint, large newsprint paper, easels, and paint brushes.

Description: The children in the class make a farm to hang on the wall.  During center time I ask volunteers (children) to paint whole sheets of paper red or green.  Then we let them hang and dry.  When they are dry I have the children help me tape them to the wall red in the shape of a barn and green as a pasture.  Then after reading a farm book.  We discuss animals on the farm.

Then at center time again I ask volunteers (children) to paint at the easel and make pigs, cows, horses, and any other farm animal they may wish, but it has to be a farm animal.  Once they are dry I, or the children, cut them out to paste onto the farm on the wall.  We usually do this early in our farm unit to use it for references.  The children and parents love to see the children's group project.  I make sure that each child does at least one painting to put on the mural.
Comments: Sometimes after our visit to the farm the children want to add onto it and I allow them to.  It takes time to do but is well worth it.

Story Time Plus Movement
Preschool and kindergarten children act out a farm story during this dramatic activity by Bev J.

Materials: Book, Who Took The Farmer's Hat? by Joan L. Nodset

Description: I read to the children, Who Took The Farmer's Hat? by Joan L. Nodset. After we read the story, I take out a straw hat and I hide it.  The child who finds the hat gets to hide it next until everyone has had a turn.

Comments: I schedule this activity in the fall but you could use it anytime. The kids love it!

Literacy: "Mr. Gumpy's Outing"
Introduce farm animals to preschool children with this flannelboard activity by Connie.

Materials: Book, Mr. Gumpy's Outing.

Description: Make a flannelboard story using the farm animals in the story. Give a flannel animal to each child in the class.  As you read the story, have each child bring up the flannel animal as you read about it in the story. The children can learn animal sounds and color recognition. Then at the end of the story they can count how many animals were in the boat with Mr. Gumpy.

farm songFarmer Brown's Song
Even toddlers can name all kinds of farm animals and create the sounds that animals make in this fun song by Betty D.

Farmer Brown Song
(sung to the tune of Aiken Drum)
There was a man lived on a farm, on a farm, on a farm.
There was a man lived on a farm,
 His name was Farmer Brown.
And on that farm he had a "cow", had a "cow", had a "cow".
And on that farm he had a "cow" and that "cow" said "MOOOOOOOO"
Comments: Use different farm animals. This is a fun song to do when gathering your kids up for circle time. Mine love it!

Enhance your curriculum with action rhymes, fingerplays and songs take a look at
Nursery Rhymes about Animals

Milk Cows
Children use fine motor skills as they learn about farms and milk products during this early childhood activity by Michal.

Materials: Large Cow:  Ours are large wooden stand ups, but I'm sure butcher paper or something else creative would work.  It must have a hole where the "udder" will go. Latex glove, safety pin, milk bucket, milk: we mix dry for this and a clothespin.

Description: Teachers take the latex glove and fill it with milk.  Put tiny holes in the end of each finger using a safety pin or something similar.  The milk should not come out on it's own.  Twist the wrist of the glove and slip it through the udder hole of the cow.  Clip behind the cow with a clothespin to hold the glove in place.  Now, place the bucket underneath. Then let the kids "milk" the cow by squeezing the fingers of the glove.  With a certain technique, a tiny stream of milk should come out!

Comments: It takes a lot of set up but kids love it and it fits well  in a Farm Theme.

Milking Cows
Wendy U. offers a variation on the above activity.

Materials: Gateway boxes, latex gloves, water, flour, tape and a pin

Description:  I filled latex gloves with water and a little bit of flour. I then poked small holes at the end of each finger with a pin.  I taped the gloves on the bottom of Gateway boxes (white with black spots).  The children took a   pail and squeezed the "utters" to get some milk.  They loved the activity!

Enhance your curriculum with picture books about animals take a look at
Picture Books Listed By Themes

Cooking: Churn Butter
Michal helps young children learn how to make butter and about  milk products .

Materials: Well cleaned Baby Food Jars with lids, (for very young children substitute small plastic jars),  heavy whipping cream,
Saltines (or other cracker), plastic knife, spoon or craft stick (to spread).

Description: Fill the plastic jar or baby food jar 1/3 to 1/2 full of whipping cream.  Shake until a ball of butter appears! Children can take turns shaking. Next, spread on crackers and enjoy!

Comments: Sometimes it takes a long time for the butter to form,  especially on hot days.  Depending on the size and age of your group you can either give each child a jar or make a few jars and pass them around the circle while singing a  song or reading a story.  Everyone loves the snack at the end!

farm songMaking Butter Song
Marty K. shares this song along with many helpful comments.

To the tune of "A-Hunting We Will Go"
A-churning we will go,
A-churning we will go,
We'll pour the cream and shake it up,
A-churning we will go!
Comments: Show a picture of a butter churn or have one for the children to see and discuss it's function.  Discuss what happens as the cream starts to separate.  Make a chart of words to describe the process.  You could also take pictures with a camera and then sequence the real photos.  send the butter home with the children, use it for a snack or save it for the "celebration".  Compare homemade butter to the kind we buy at the grocery store to build language skills. 

craft activityFarm House
Pre-k youngsters design and create their own farm houses during this craft activity by Tiffany S.

Materials: Popsicle sticks, water paint, glue and a empty small shoe box. Cut the shape of a door into the box.

Description: First take the sticks and water paint (children can choose any color) and color them. Let them dry.  Then get your box and the now colored sticks and glue them around the shape of the box and the top. After the box is covered use the rest of your sticks to make a two sided triangle that is added to the open end top of the box.

bulletin board ideaBulletin Board Idea: "Oatmeal Farm Animals"
Children learn about farm animals and experiment with texture during this early childhood lesson by Jane P.

Materials: Construction paper - white or black, raw oatmeal and white glue.

Description: Teachers may have the children cut out or teachers may cut for them, sheep patterns from either black or white construction paper. I use black, it has better contrast. Then have the children spread the glue onto the sheep cut out. You may wish to water the glue down and have the children use paint brushes to  spread the glue. Then give each child a cup of raw oatmeal and have them sprinkle the oatmeal over the wet glue. Now, let dry and take home or post on the bulletin board.

Comments: This project is great for use with a Farm Animals Theme but can be used for nursery rhymes as well.

Stuffed Pig
Pre-k and kindergarten children use fine motor and creative skills in this preschool activity by Cheryll B.

Materials: Large white or pink bulletin board paper, paint, and newsprint or tissue paper.

 Description: To go along with a farm theme, we decided to make a large animal to hang form the ceiling. The children voted on what farm animal to make. They chose a pig. I drew a huge pig on paper that I folded in half so there would be 2 sides. It was about the size of a long table. The children painted the pig with different shades of peach and pink paint. When dry, I cut out the two pig  shapes and stapled them together leaving the tummy open to allow for stuffing. 

Next the children wadded up pieces of newsprint and carefully pushed it inside.  When the pig had a little stuffing in it I stapled the bottom and we hung the pig. I then read the book HAMILTON

bulletin board ideaBulletin Board Idea: "Stuffed Farm Animals"
Provide children with an opportunity to create their very own   favorite farm animal after learning about the Farm with this art lesson plan by Laura G.

Materials: Large white paper (butcher paper works the best), crayons or markers, scissors, newspaper sheets for stuffing, and staplers.

Description: First teachers pre trace or draw a variety of farm animals onto the white paper so that the children will have a variety of animals to choose from. Make sure that the animals are fairly large enough so that the children can stuff them with newspaper. Have each child tell you what their favorite farm  animal is and then have the child find that farm animal on the white paper.

After each child has selected their farm animal to stuff and decorate, explain to the children that they get to make their very own farm animal to take home with them. Follow these simple steps to create adorable farm animals:

1. Ask the children to cut out the farm animals. The animals need to be traced or drawn so that there is a front AND a back to cut out.

2. Have the children color and decorate the animals with either markers or crayons.

3. The children are then given enough newspaper sheets to wad up and stuff their animal. Have the children begin wadding up the newspaper to prepare for stuffing.

4. Teachers go around the room and assist each child in stapling their animal 1/2 way around. Do not staple all the way around, allow room for stuffing!

5. Each child then stuffs his or her animal with the newspaper until it looks full and puffy.

6. Assist each child in stapling the remainder of their animal shut.

7. Let the children share their animal with their friends and then have them take them home to show the parents.
Or you could display them in your classroom with a barn or farm theme bulletin board!

Comments: This was so much fun! The children loved creating their own farm animal and especially loved going around the room making their farm animal noise and sharing it with the other children!



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