I don't know about yours but my toddler is obsessed with animals, especially farm animals. We recently we did one farm related activity each day for a week. Needless to say, it was a big hit. Here are a few ways that you can bring on the fun farm animal fun with your toddler. And, as always, they are all easy to do!
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Farm Animal Sensory Bin
I made a slight boo boo when planning this activity and bought a package of jungle animals instead of farm animals but it was still fun.
1-2 packages of small farm animals (I bought one package of horses & one assorted animals)
Potting soil (I got ours at the Dollar Tree)
Small Bin or large food storage container
4 Green scouring pads or thin sponges
Prep: Lay the sponges on the bottom of the bin, cutting may be required. Pour some potting soil over the sponges. Toss in the animals!
Play: Set the bin out, keeping in mind the area will get a little dirty, then let your toddler play. Talk to your little one about the animals, make animal noises, ask what color the animals are, etc.
Paper Plate Cow
I am currently in a paper plate craft phase. They are so easy to do and I love the look on my son's face when he starts to recognize what it is that we are making.
Black construction paper
Pink construction paper
Black marker or paint
Prep: Cut several round/oval pieces of black paper in varying size for the cow's "spots". Keep in mind they do not need to be perfect. Cut one large pink circle for the cow's face. Cut two tear drop shaped pieces of black paper for the cow's ears, two pink pieces of the same shape but slightly smaller for the "inner" part of the ear and a "u" shape for the tongue. Set out the plate, pieces of paper, googly eyes and glue.
Play: Assist your child with gluing on the "spots", face, ears and googly eyes. Draw nostrils and a mouth on the pink circle. Hold the cow up to your face like a mask and let your child do the same. Make mooing sounds with your child and talk about where we see cows.
Give your little lamb some wool with this sheep craft.
Prep: Cut out the center of the plate. Set out the glue, paper plate and cotton balls.
Play: Assist your child with spreading glue all of the paper plate. Then let him put the cotton balls over the glue. Once it dries, you may want to do the backside to give it some reinforcement.. or so it will show no matter how your child holds it. As you can see in the picture, I'm speaking from experience! (You can also double up the plate, if you want.) Show your child how to put her head in the circle opening. Encourage your child to make a sheep sound. Touch the cotton balls and talk about a sheep's wool.
Chick Paper Plate
I told you I had a thing for paper plate crafts! This one is so cute and also a lot of fun because it involves painting.
1 Pipe cleaner or 3 small feathers
Orange construction paper
Paint brush, sponge, cotton ball or something else to paint with (you can also use fingers!)
Prep: Cut out a small triangle shaped piece of orange paper for the "beak" and two thin strips for the legs (you an also cut a web shape at the bottom). Cut the pipe cleaner into thirds. Set out the plate and paint.
Play: Let your child paint the plate yellow. Talk about the color yellow and what kinds of things are yellow. After the paint dries (we painted before nap, so that it was ready for the next step when my son woke up) assist your child with gluing on the beak, legs and eyes. Take the pipe cleaner (or feathers) and tape them to the back of the plate, so that it is secure and looks like feathers sticking up at the top of the chick's head. Cut into the side of the plate where it would look like wings. Bend it back so there is a flap. Also, you can cut "waves" into the plate. Talk to your child about chicks and mimic their sound!
Animal Sound Puzzle
Prep: Take all of the pieces off of the puzzle and put the board on a flat surface.
Play: Let your little one take each puzzle piece and find it's match. Encourage your child to use her thumb and pointer finger to pinch the little peg at the top of the puzzle (this is great for fine motor development). Talk about the animals - their sounds, colors, etc.
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Old MacDonald is a classic favorite for most kids but this activity will add a little more fun.
A paper bag decorated like a farm
Small to animals or animal puzzle pieces
Prep: Place the animals in the "barn".
Play: Sing Old MacDonald had a farm and pull out an animal when you get to "had a...". Dramatic pauses and letting your child have a turn to choose an animal will make it extra fun!
This is a really easy activity that your little one will love.
Prep: Make a "pen" with the blocks. (This is a great thing to include your child in.) Pull out some cotton balls to be your "sheep" and put them in a pile by the blocks.
Play: Tell your child that the cotton balls are sheep and they need to go in their pen. Help your child collect the sheep and place them in the pen, counting each one. Encourage your toddler to her pointer finger and thumb when picking up the sheep. If you have tongs, you can use those to pick up the "sheep", too.