Farm Unit for Preschool
I'm a little behind on posting my preschool units. We did this farm unit a few weeks ago and I'm just now getting it up on the blog today. Farm units are always a hit with preschoolers and my two loved it! The fall is a great time to talk about farms because it's harvest season.
If you saw my post about Fall Harvest you saw that we had visited a farm back in September. Both kids were really into the corn picking and the animals we saw. I knew that doing a farm unit would tie in nicely with the other fall units we were doing. Here's a look at what we did.
Finger Print Sheep: We made cute little lambs using white paint and our fingers. The kids had fun creating the bodies of their lambs while I cut out the legs and heads from black paper. We finished them off with some googly eyes.
Writing with Carrots: This was a simple yet fun activity. All you need are some carrots, paint and a piece of paper. Emmett used his carrot to make various marks on his paper and Emerson was able to actually write some letters with hers.
Corn Sensory Play: What better way to use up some popping corn and Indian corn? Last year we spent an afternoon doing some fine motor work by picking off all the dried kernels from our ears of corn. I saved the kernels and they came in handy this year for our farm unit. If you don't have fresh picked ears of Indian corn or popping corn you can just buy a bag of popping corn at the store. This kids had a great time scooping the corn and playing with their farm animals too. I left this sensory activity up most of the week so they could play with it during our down time or in between activities.
Corn Husk Painting: This was a great activity to use up some of the husks from our Indian corn. The kids helped me peel it off the cob and then we folded them in half and tied a rubber band around it. The ends make a really cool paintbrush.
Milking Cows: I first saw this activity at the child care center I used to work at. The pre-k class did this during their farm unit, but with white paint. I decided to do a less messy version with water instead. I'm fortunate to have a hubby with access to rubber gloves. Unfortunately he didn't have any white ones, but purple and blue worked just fine. I filled the gloves with water and then carefully tied some twine around the ends to secure it. I then tied them to the end of the kids picnic table outside and then poked holes in the ends of all the fingers with a pin. They look just like utters of a cow. The kids had fun squeezing all the water out of the gloves and practicing their milking skills. It's a bit harder than it looks, but they both had fun. This is also a great fine motor activity since it helps strengthen their hand muscles.
Piggy Letter Matching: I made this file folder game for Emerson last year during our letter P unit. It's a great quiet activity that helps encourage letter recognition. She did really well matching all the lower and upper case letters. You can find the free printable here. I had originally hot glued Velcro to ours and it started peeling off so now I use sticky tack instead.
Haystacks Snack: Emerson and I made this snack while Emmett was napping. We melted butter and mini marshmellows in the microwave and then added pretzel sticks to make a yummy haystack snack. If we make these again I'll melt the marshmellows on the stove because it got a bit too sticky and took longer in the microwave. They were really tasty and didn't last long after Emmett woke up!
Egg Carton Pig Snouts: These were fun to make and even more fun to wear! I cut apart the sections of an egg carton to give each kid a snout. They painted them pink and when they were dry I drew on some nostrils and tied string to each side. We tied them on and had a blast pretending to be little piggies.
Stick the Wool on the Sheep: How cute is this little sheep activity? My kids loved adding "wool" to this sticky sheep. Emmett loved that he could pull it off and it would leave a little bit of the cotton behind. All I did was draw a sheep shape on a piece of contact paper. Then I peeled the paper off the back and taped it to our sliding door with the sticky side facing out. I put out some cotton balls and let them have at it. This activity was geared more towards Emmett's age, but Emerson had fun doing it too.
Washing Animals: One of the books we read during the unit was Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm by Joy Cowley. Mrs. Wishy-Washy is always giving her farm animals a good scrub so we decided to do the same with our farm animals. I filled their water table with some soapy water and gave them each a sponge. They had a great time scrubbing their animals and playing in the water.
Farm Animal Snacks: I saw this cute idea on pinterest to make a pig and a chicken out of bagels. We used English muffins instead. I spread some cream cheese on the muffin and then added slices fruit to make them look like farm animals. They devoured these cute snacks so I did a second set later in the week. I made a rooster and Emerson requested a horse which was a bit tricky. I used some pretzel sticks for the mane and tried to make the strawberries look like a horses mouth. Either way she ate every last bite.
Corralling Pigs: This is an easy activity to set up and will keep your little ones entertained. All you need are some pink balloons and a permanent marker. I blew up a whole package of balloons and Emerson drew all the piggy faces on them. She also drew little tails on each one. Then we spread them out around the living room and they had to corrall them into one spot. Steve had brought home so foam squares so we set those up as the corrall. They kept falling down so we eventually just stacked some pillows up in the corner and put all the pigs in there. Both kids were squealing with delight while chasing these piggies around.
Shearing Sheep: We use shaving cream a lot in our home preschool and it is awesome. Yes, it gets messy, but it's really easy to clean up. I squirted some shaving cream onto a blown up balloon and then let the kids use Popsicle sticks to shave off all the "wool" from the sheep. This ended up being a great sensory activity. I recommend taping the balloon down with some masking tape so it stays put.
Paper Plate Cow: Emerson did this activity during Emmett's nap time one day. We used a small paper plate and added some black spots with paint. I cut out ears and a nose/mouth from construction paper. Emerson glued them on and added some googly eyes too. I think it turned out really cute.
Corn Kernel Letters: This year we have been focusing more on writing. I try to incorporate unique ways to form letters to make it interesting and fun. We used our corn kernels from our sensory bin to make letters. Emerson was able to make the E on her own, but needed some assistance with the rest of the letters in her name. To make this activity easier you could also write letters or words on a piece of paper and have your child line up the kernels on top.
This ended up being on of my favorite themes so far this year. We mostly focused on farm animals so in the spring we may do another farm unit focusing more on what can be grown on the farm. Comment below if you try any of these ideas or share on social media with the hashtag #meghanmakesdo. I'd love to see your kiddos in action!