Young children often like the idea of learning about the farm, but many inner city children do not get the chance to experience farming life. Why not take their natural enthusiasm for the topic by embracing it as a learning theme? Here are a few ideas that are cute and educational.
Story time is full of animals
Children of all ages enjoy storybooks and songs with a farmyard theme. Even babies enjoy books where you stop and all have a turn at making animals sounds like "cow goes moo, sheep goes bah". Not only is this great fun but also it helps build pre-language verbal skills for the youngest charges. Try pointing to pictures of the animals or holding up a similar toy to reinforce the linkage.
Set up a farmyard in each room
In each room set up a fence area with either plastic toys or teddies in the shape of various farm animals, and any equipment you can repurpose as farm equipment like truck, tractors or trains. Let the children have free range to be the farmer and direct the animals in their own creative play. They may use the storylines from the books you have been using or free play around their own storyline. This helps to build creativity and independence.
Have an chick laying incursion
Many services exist where you can get a chick incubator into the centre and observe chicks hatching from eggs to small chicks over a period of 10 day-2 weeks. This is a great way for students to make the connection between eggs and chicks! It can be a great starting point for some observations and art projects showing the progress that the eggs make each day.
An excursion to the farm
Visiting a learning farm can be a great end cap to your learning program. At a learning farm the children can observe animals getting milked and see many animals in their normal enclosures such as rabbit hutches or chicken coops. Children often love the chance to feel the animals in their natural environment and watch the animals getting fed and interacting with each other. If possible plan this for a spring session where you can observe some of the cute baby animals at play!
Life at the farm is an engaging and interesting topic for children at a childcare centre. This is a great time to start planning out your farmyard animal learning theme. For more tips and ideas, contact locations like Hopscotch Boambee.