THEME: FARM & FARM PRODUCTS
A Pre-primary Farm Theme is one of the most loved themes. So how do we teach farm theme!
Our Ankurs learn the concept experientially through an integrated project in which they get to understand and experience the COLORS through Art Activities, Block Area, Circle Time Activities, Cooking Recipes, Dramatic Play Ideas, Easel Ideas, Gross Motor Games, Literacy, Math, Music and Movement, Sand and Water Table, Science Activities, Writing Activities, excursions, Audiovisual learning activities, and other Miscellaneous Ideas
(Farm Theme Art)
Fruit and Vegetable Prints: Different fruits and vegetables are cut in half and used by children as blocks to paint with and create awesome patterns. Potato, capsicum, lotus stem, ladyfinger, peppers, apples, oranges...each make a great design on the paper!
Feather Collage: As a home activity, Children go for a nature walk with parents or grandparents and collect feathers, leaves, twigs, and other interesting things. Then the whole class collaboratively creates a group FEATHER COLLAGE with the help of collected material, paper plates, googly eyes, glue, strips of colorful papers, and scissors.
Cotton Ball Sheep: Children love to create the cotton ball sheep as a craft activity by using Black paper, cotton balls, googly eyes….What a Cool looking sheep!
Farm Theme Dairy Board
Materials: Pages of magazines with food products, especially the pictures of dairy products on them; scissors, glue, poster board.
The board is labeled as "OUR DAIRY BOARD".
Teachers discuss with the children what types of foods are dairy products. They show them the magazine pictures. Then children cut out dairy pictures and glue them on the board.
EXTENSION: A second board called "NOT DAIRY" is prepared and put up. After cutting out each non-dairy food item, children and teachers talk about the type of food it is and glue it on the appropriate board.
BIRD NEST ON BRANCH CRAFT: Children explore the homes of birds i.e. nests and culminate their study by collating the ideas and creating the ‘BIRD NEST ON BRANCH CRAFT’
Farm Theme Block Center Ideas
Old MacDonald's Farm
With the help of Blocks, pieces, toys, papercraft toys, straws, grass, twigs, nests, etc., children create a farm with their teachers. The farm has some roads and green areas. Children tell what is on a farm and add trees, plants, and animals, animal sheds, water bodies, vehicles on the farm (cow, house, tractor, etc.).
CIRCLE TIME ACTIVITY
Farm Theme Circle Time Ideas
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about their study Theme!
Once Upon a Time
Flannel board pieces are prepared in advance. Farm trees and products, as well as farm animals and products (fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc.), are included.
Each child is given a flannel piece. The teacher starts the story by placing the boy and girl next to a flannel farm piece. The teacher says - "Once upon a time, a boy and a girl went to the farm."
One child is asked to add her/his flannel piece. All discuss what it is and if they like it or an attribute about it. That is added to the story. For example, if the child adds a cow, then the teacher and children say "They hear a black and white cow. It said MOO!”
This is continued until all the children have added a flannel piece.
Who Am I?
A variety of stuffed farm animals or puppets or produce are put in a bag or box. The teacher places her hand in the bag or box and gives hints to the children about the type of animal or item it is and children guess the name. Finally the teacher takes the thing out and shows it to the children.
I am yellow and soft and fluffy. Who am I? (Duck)
I am yellow and bumpy. I have green stuff around me. When you pull the green stuff off...Who am I? (Corn on the cob)
Kaveri - the Cow
What is a Farm Theme without milking a cow?! Materials needed: 2 non-latex gloves, a cow shape drawn out of sturdy cardboard, milk, and bowl.
A glove is attached to the bottom of the cow and the udders are discussed with the children.
The second glove is taken and a little milk poured into one of the fingers. A hole is poked in the finger with a common pin. The children squeeze the finger of the glove to milk the cow into the bowl. It is an amazing experience for kids.
The Giving Farm Poem
Children enjoy the recitation with the enactment
Hens give eggs.
Cows give milk.
Strawberries give jam.
Bees give honey.
Goats give cheese.
Farms give food,
I'd like some, please!
EXTENSION: One animal and food flannel board piece is given to each child and they place them on the farm spread kept in the middle of the circle as they say the poem.
Make a Scarecrow
Teacher talks to the children about scarecrows and why they are at farms. The old pants and a shirt are brought in and lots of hay or newspaper is crumpled and stuffed into the scarecrow!
Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Farm Theme!
Cooking with children helps develop their organization as well as social skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Many questions are asked by the teacher while cooking with the children to encourage conversation!
Fruit or Vegetable Salad
Teacher and children bring all kinds of variety in salad vegetables and yummy fruits along with plates, dishes, bowls, table mat, forks, vegetable peelers, plastic knives. Aprons are arranged and chef-caps are prepared. Children help the teacher rinse the food and then cut and prepare a salad for a snack!
Making white Butter
Ingredients and items needed: Whipping cream (liquid, in the milk/cream department of the grocery store), glass jar with cover, a pinch of salt, bread.
The teacher explains to the children that butter is made from the milk that the cows give.
A small amount of whipping cream is poured into the jar. It is tightly covered. All the children take turns shaking it. It is covered and shaking is continued.
It makes butter! A pinch of salt is added and mixed. It is spread on the bread. Bread with white butter…. Yum! And, they made it themselves!
Extension in cooking recipes: Children may also bake their own cake with lots of fruits, with the help of a teacher.
DRAMATIC PLAY IDEAS
Farm Theme Ideas for Dramatic Play Area
Farm Store Role-play
The dramatic play area is turned into a Farm store by providing shopping baskets, plastic fruits and vegetables, a cash register and play money, grocery bags, paper, pencils (for shopping lists), etc. children become shopkeepers and customers and do the role-play.
A Farmer's Work Is Never Done
Children do some farming/gardening in the school garden
Farm Theme Ideas for Easel--More Than Just Painting
Creating a farm – paint/collage/3D
A farm is painted with animal homes! The pictures of farm-related trees, animals, products, objects, and vehicles are hung around the easel for the children to see. They are encouraged to paint on their own and like this, they end up creating a unique farm paint collage of their own.
Gross Motor Games
Farm Theme Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together
Train in the Farm
Teacher/s acts as a train running on the farm. Beforehand, children are divided into groups; each group is given the props/face mask for different animals. The teacher will call out the names of different animal stations. The respective children will act and move like respective animals and join the train. The group, in which most of the kids will be active, will win.
Egg in the basket Races
Children will participate in a recreational race in which they have to run with a basket and on the way collect the eggs in the basket. The child, who reaches the finish line with maximum eggs and by not dropping any, wins.
LIBRARY AND LITERACY
The Farm Theme books/picture books/stories from the Library are read to the kids and some Literacy Activities Before reading any stories, children are asked about what they know about farms (what types of animals or crops, who have visited one, etc). The notes are taken on the whiteboard or flip pages. The classic farm story is read aloud with drama and props. The pictures are shown. The whiteboard is revisited and children are asked what they can add to the information now that they've heard the story.
The Farm theme word list is provided to each child. (A vocabulary test is done on these words later in the week and they are introduced as the word wall words.
MATH & MANIPULATIVE ACTIVITIES
SEED GUESSING JAR
Seeds are placed in a closed jar. Children would be asked to guess by looking (not taking the seeds out). Then one child takes it out and counts to find the actual number. The teacher again changes the number of seeds in the jar and the game continues.
As a home activity, children prepare with the help of parents and grandparents, one paper animal shape and bring it to the class.
The teacher writes one number out of 1-40 on each paper animal. Children first arrange all the animals in small to larger number order, then larger to smaller number order, all the animals with digit 0 in their number, and then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and then 9 in random order.
Then the teacher gives them corn to feed the paper animals. Each animal would be fed the number of corns equal to the number written on it.
Later these corns are used to create a corn craft by pasting and painting.
MEASURE, COMPARE, SORT
Each child brings one designated fruit or vegetable to collect almost all the available variety of fruits and vegetables.
In the discovery room, the teacher puts these fruits and vegetables in large trays.
Children are given the tapes and rulers and told how to read the scale. Then the teacher encourages children to explore the size of vegetables and fruits by using tapes and rulers. Another teacher keeps the record.
Then children sort the fruits and veggies by size, color, etc.
EXTENSION: The teacher also shows them how to weigh each fruit and vegetable on a weighing balance. Again the record is kept.
EXTENSION: Fruits and vegetables are cut open so that children can explore them from the inside after exploring the outside.
PLAY DOUGH FARM PRODUCTS
Children use play dough/clay of different colors and sculpt different farm products for nature basket with the help of molds and also freehand.
FARM ANIMAL SORTER
Children bring their own sets of small toy animals (made up of food-grade plastic) and they sort them into different bowls.
It is surprising to see that in how many ways they sort the animals – by color, by size, animals with tail, animals that live on the tree, animals that eat grass, and animals that live at people’s homes.
MUSIC & MOVEMENT
Farm theme music and movement activities to get our pre-primary kids movin’ and groovin’
OLD McDonald HAD A FARM
Children sing this classic song with the teacher. They also act out the animal they sing about and encouraged to make that animal sound.
I am a… (Pretend play)
Children are encouraged to use their bodies to imitate different fruits and vegetables. They pretend to be a potato, tomato, brinjal, ladyfinger, pumpkin, mango, banana, etc
Song to the tune of ‘this is the way we brush our teeth’
Cows in the barn go moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo; moo, moo, moo,
Cows in the barn go moo, moo, moo,
All around the farm
Pigs in the pen go oink, oink, oink,
Cock says cock-a-doodle-doo,
Hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck,
Ducks in the pond go quack, quack, quack,
Lambs on the hill go baa, baa, baa,
SAND & WATER TABLE
Farm activities for senses
Growth of a plant
Children plant a few seedlings and seeds in small cups. They put their name label on their special cup. They put little water in the cup daily and watch their plant grow.
In the summer vacation, they take it home, watch it grow measure it, and record the growth every Sunday.
After the vacation, they all proudly bring their tall plants to class and showcase them in front of parents on the project day – SRIJAN.
(The class also plants a seedling in a pot and keeps it in the school garden. Its growth is measured and marked weekly on a paper pasted on the wall just behind the plant.)
Corns are placed in the sand/husks on the sensory table. On the count of 1-10, 1-50, 1-100, children try to find out as many as possible corns from the sand. The child, who finds the maximum, wins.
Corn can be later used in the art activity for painting.
As a variation, children may also be blindfolded and asked to feel and find the corns.
Another ‘finding in sand’ activity may also be done by substituting small plastic animals for corns.
DUCKS IN THE POND
Plastic/ felt/ wooden ducks or fishes of different sizes are made to float in the water on the sensory table. Children count them in water and tell the number.
Farm theme for young scientists
Exploring Farm items
The teacher collects different farm items in a tray, like feathers, corn seeds, hay, etc for the children to investigate through a magnifying glass
Farm stamps and name stamps are prepared or arranged.
Children are encouraged to paint in the ponds, clouds, a barn, etc
Then they use the stamps to complete the scene. First, the pictures are stamped. Then the appropriate names are stamped or printed below each picture.
Children may also print stick-animals as a substitute for stamping
Farm theme outdoor visits
- A local grocery store to visit the dairy products and other farm products
- A milk dairy
Other visits (if available nearby/parents are most welcome to suggest places for these visits if they know) which are on the wish-list would be:
- A local farm
- A poultry farm
- A place to show milking of the cow
- A bakery to show how the bread is baked
As all our smart classrooms are equipped with the Educomp smart digital board with a screen, overhead projector, and magnifying camera, our children make ample use of audio-visual modules and films for learning all their concepts.