Little ones absolutely love spending time at the farm, learning about the animals and experiencing all that goes into the daily running of the farm.  It is a wonderful place to experience through all the senses!  Lots to look at, animal sounds to listen to, farmyard smells for the nose, interesting textures to touch, and possibly even some tasting could be done.

Here are some fun quick and easy activities to do at home with your toddler or preschooler that are all inspired by the farmyard.

  1. Give the sheep some wool

  • You will need:
    • Black and white print out of a sheep (or you could draw one)
    • Glue stick (non-toxic)
    • Cotton wool balls

Toddlers absolutely love working with glue.   Smear glue all over the sheep and then use fingers to pinch off small pieces of cotton wool to stick onto the sheep.  This activity is a wonderful tactile experience and works on the pincer grip to strengthen the fingers.  Talk about: The texture of the wool, where wool comes from and what it is used for and don’t forget to practice the sound that a sheep makes, and to sing the all- time favourite nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep.

  1. Paint some muddy pigs

  • You will need:
    • A large window or sliding door. A large plastic board was used in picture, but a large sliding door will work just as well.
    • A few pictures of pigs – you could find these in magazines or print a few.
    • Brown water based paint, a paint pot and a paint brush. Add a drop sheet on the ground to catch the mess.
    • You can also do this activity with instant chocolate pudding instead of paint
    • A cloth for cleaning the window.

Place the pictures of your pigs on the inside of the window, facing outwards.  Toddlers are then to paint the pigs and make them all muddy. Talk about: Pigs on the farm, how they love to roll around in the mud and get dirty.  Show your toddler how to log roll themselves – get your toddler to lie on their back and roll from side to side.  Encourage your toddlers to help you clean the windows afterwards – you can add spray bottles here to make the cleaning part a bit more fun.  Clean the pigs together and wipe away the paint.

  1. Make some farm style shakers

  • You will need:
    • Empty water bottles – clean them out well and leave to dry
    • Interesting seeds, beans or dried corn – pumpkin seeds also work well
    • Use a funnel and a scoop for pouring the seeds into the bottle(optional)
    • Ribbon to decorate
    • Insulation tape to seal bottle

Place some seeds or dried corn into each of your bottles – using different seeds will give you different sounds.  This is a great fine motor activity so encourage your toddlers to put the seeds or beans inside the bottles themselves. You can show them here how to use a funnel and small scoop – this is great for their bilateral integration – using the two hands together to achieve a task.   Put the lid on, seal with insulation tape as an extra seal.  Tie on some ribbon to complete your shakers.  You can even add some stickers to the outside of your bottle too.  Use your shakers as you sing some farm nursery rhymes – encourage your toddler to shake in time to the rhythm of the song or rhyme.

Contributed by Victoria Bruigom from  Clamber Club Toddlers – Olivedale
Tel: 074 116 5690