Children know about farm animals from singing the song ‘Old Macdonald had a Farm’ from an early age. You might have taken your child to a farm before, have farm animals to play with or have read some farm books. Discuss with your child the animals that you would find on a farm, where they live and the job of a farmer. If you have any books at home about farms, then now is the perfect time to read them!
Create a Farmer
Discuss what clothes a farmer would wear. If he/she is outside all day what would they wear to keep warm? Name the farmer with your child – we named ours Farmer Tim.
You will need:
- Boots or trainers and socks
- T-shirt, jumper and coat
- A face
- Start by asking your child to draw the face of the farmer. Discuss that the shape is a circle and think about where about the eyes, nose, mouth, ears and hair go.
- Discuss what a farmer might wear and why.
- Have the clothes ready, or go on a hunt around the house to find farmer clothes.
- Work with your child to put the clothes in the right place.
- Is there anything else you could add?
Science: Waterproof Coat Investigation
It might rain on the farm so we need to make sure that Farmer Tim’s coat is waterproof. What is the best material for his coat?
- You will need: a plastic bag, foil, paper, card, tea-towel, toilet paper, stickers, water, coat to test on and a table for the results.
- Test each of the materials one by one by placing them on the coat and then pouring the water over them.
- Make sure you choose a dry part of the coat each time.
- Place a sticker or draw a tick or cross in the right box to show the results.
- Ask your child which of the materials are not waterproof and why?
- What material should Farmer Tim make his coat out of?
Maths: Egg Box Treasure Hunt
As you will find chickens on a farm and plenty of eggs, use an egg box for counting.
- You will need: An egg box.
- Write the numbers you would like to use on the base of each egg compartment.
- Ask your child to tell you what those numbers are.
- Explain that you are going to go on a treasure hunt, looking for tiny things to go in your egg box. If you would prefer you can have piles of the objects ready for your child.
- Walk round the house with your child, looking for small treasure. Once you have spotted something bring a pile back with you.
- Ask your child to choose a number…..7. Ask them to count out 7 shreddies from the pile. It is important that you have more shreddies than the largest number you want them to count out so that they are practising their counting.
- As they count out 7 shreddies, make sure they use one number name for each shreddie and then when they get to 7 they STOP.
- Place the shreddies in the 7 compartment.
- Repeat with the other numbers, searching for the tiny items, choosing a number and counting them out from the pile.
- If you get up and search for your the treasure each time it gets your child moving and makes the activity more interactive.
- Lastly, eat the food in the treasure box!
Problem Solving: Creating a Scarecrow
This activity is so much fun. Farmer Tim needs help to scare away the birds from eating his vegetables so it’s time to build a scarecrow! Time to get use out of those plastic bags!
- You will need: plastic bags, bin bags, box packaging paper, string, trousers, coat, shoes, gloves and a hat.
- Start by stuffing plastic bags or box packaging paper down the trouser legs. Tie some string at the bottom so that the plastic bags don’t come out.
- Do the same with the coat arms and body.
- Place the scarecrow on a chair.
- Add the boots for the feet and the gloves for the hands.
- Scrunch some packaging paper together or use a paper bag and draw eyes, nose and mouth.
- Place a hat on the scarecrow’s head.
- Decorate the scarecrow with
- Explain that you have all of these bricks for the pigs and they need to anything you like. We used leaves and a pasta necklace!
Writing: Farmer Tim’s Shopping List
Farmer Tim needs your help! He needs to write a shopping list for the supermarket.
- You will need: A piece of paper, or board, pen and if you have one, a sound mat. For a sound mat, we use my daughter’s food mat which we use to help with her writing.
- Discuss that Farmer Tim doesn’t need eggs, milk or vegetables as he has those on his farm.
- What does he need? Of course… pasta. Can you write it down? P, p, p for pasta. If your child is older they could listen to each of the sounds in the word.
- Repeat for other items. Praise for fantastic writing.
- Afterwards, write down what they have written so they can see you write and that their writing has meaning.
Small World: Farm in a Tray
This is such a lovely activity.
- You will need: a baking tray, animals for the farm and anything you have at home. We used: Shreddies, porridge oats, risotto rice, spaghetti, stones, leaves and part of a cup for the pond.
- Your child can then play – making the animal noises, pretending to be the farmer and the animals eating their food was a popular activity for them!
Maths: Shoe Sorting
Farmer Tim has big feet and so needs to find the biggest pair of shoes in the house.
- You will need: A pile of shoes of different sizes, a sign saying biggest and one saying smallest.
- Place the signs out ready – with the biggest one end and the smallest sign the other end.
- Hold up a small shoe (but not the smallest) and ask your child if it’s big of small. Place it in the small end.
- Pick up one of the bigger shoes (but not the biggest) and ask your child the same questions and place it in the right place.
- Continue with the other shoes, comparing them to the small and big shoe.
- If your child is older, they could say a sentence to compare the shoes. “The black shoes are the biggest and the pink ones are the smallest.” “The yellow boots are bigger than the white shoes”.
Messy Play: Tractor Tracks
Although this is messy, it is actually therapeutic and satisfying to see the tracks.
- You will need: Long pieces of paper (We used the Amazon box packaging), paints and trucks and tractors.
- Place the paper on the ground and put paint on the paper.
- Put the trucks and tractors in the paint.
- Drive the vehicles along the paper and look at their tracks.
- Watch as the paints mix together.
Fruit and Vegetable Sorting
Farmer Tim needs help to sort out his fruit and vegetables into piles.
- You will need: A range of fruit and vegetables and a sign for each.
- Ask your child to pick one and discuss if it is a fruit or vegetable. Then place it in the fruit or vegetable pile.
- Repeat with all of the others.
- Once they are all in their piles, discuss how they grow. Do they grow in a tree or underground?
- Challenge: Can your child write a label for any of the fruit or vegetables?
Science: The Uncrushable Egg
This experiment will show you how eggs are extremely strong.
- You will need: 2 eggs, a piece of card, a couple of different sized boxes and a plate.
- Discuss that eggs are fragile and are breakable. Ask your child to feel the shell. Is it hard or soft? What would happen if you dropped the egg?
- Look at the egg box. The egg box protects it and keeps the egg safe. Place the egg in the card, and then in the two different boxes and discuss if the egg would be safe and not break.
- Ask your child what would happen if you dropped the egg. Place a plate on the ground and drop the egg from a height. Yes, the egg has cracked.
- What will happen if you place the egg in your hand and squeeze it? Surely it will crack. Ask your child to try it and you try it. Amazing there is not a single crack. Try again. Still no crack. By completely surrounding the egg with your hand, the pressure you apply by squeezing is distributed evenly all over the egg and therefore it does not crack! Wow!
Fine Motor, Construction and Maths: Fence Building
These farm animals need fences to make sure that they are kept safe. This activity involves building fences which is fantastic for their fine motor skills.
- You will need: Any type of farm animals, anything to make a fence (for one of our fences we used the painted sugar cubes that we used for The Three Little Pigs.)
- Ask your child to build fences for the animals to keep them safe.
- Once they have finished, ask them how may animals there are of each animal. Make sure they use one number name for each animal.
- Are there more cows or pigs? Which has the most?
Water Play: Duck Pond
It is time to create a duck pond at the farm and wash those ducks!
- You will need: A large tray, ducks, cups, spoons, paint brushes and washing up liquid.
- Fill up the tray with water, places in the items.
- Watch your child wash and pour water over the ducks.
- Happy Times!