Farm animals are a great topic of study for preschoolers. I recently completed a Life on the Farm unit with my two kids, 4-year-old QBoy and 3-year-old XGirl.
When I start a new unit with the kids, I usually plan out a few learning objectives to keep me on track with our activities. For our farm unit, here are just a few of the objectives I hoped to achieve while learning about farm animals:
- The kids will be able to recognize and identify common farm animals
- The kids will know the mother, father, and baby names for common farm animal families (e.g, hen, rooster, and chick are all part of the chicken family)
- The kids will know the sounds made by common farm animals
- The kids will know what kinds of products we get from farm animals
Toward that end, we did several activities to help us achieve these objectives for our learning about farm animals.
Note: For more kid-friendly farm activities and printables, see my Life on the Farm Unit Study page.
Farm animal memory game
I printed some farm animal memory cards from my Farm Printable Pack so we could play memory. My kids love this game, and doing it with farm animals was a great way to reinforce the names of the animals.
Farm animal families
We learned the names for the father, mother, and baby animals in each animal family. (I’ve created a Farm Animal Families printable you can grab in my shop.)
First we matched the picture-with-label cards to the picture-only cards. We also matched animals from our Safari Ltd Down on the Farm Toob, Safari Ltd Farm Animals Toob, and Safari Ltd Farm Babies Toob to the pictures.
How to milk a cow
We didn’t have the opportunity to milk an actual cow, but we did something almost as good – we made our own cow udder from a rubber glove! I poked small holes in the finger tips with a pin, filled it with water, and then let the kids “milk” it.
They laughed so hard when the water squirt me!
What products come from animals
I found a great printable focused on farm animals and their by-products at Joyfully Weary. We used it to learn about the various food and non-food products that come from chickens, cows, sheep, ducks, and pigs.
Farm animal coverings
I planned a sticky wall activity to get the kids thinking about the fact that different farm animals have different types of coverings, such as hair, wool, and feathers.
To prepare, I used to painter’s tape to hang black line pictures of a horse, sheep, and chicken on our wall. I then placed clear contact paper over the printables, with the sticky side facing out. (The printables are from Happy and Blessed Home, but I’m not sure if they are available anymore since I received them by subscribing to the email list.)
I then laid out a tray with feathers, cotton balls (wool), and yarn (hair).
The kids added the appropriate covering to each animal by sticking it to the clear contact paper.
And this was the end result! XGirl, whose work is on the right, thought it was particularly funny that she completely covered her sheep so even its face was not showing. 🙂
Visit a goat farm
Finally, our family also took a trip to visit Harley Farms in Pescadero, CA, which specializes in goat cheeses. We got to meet some of the 200 or so goats at the farm. In this picture the kids are in the barn checking out the goat food.
We also got a tour of the goat milking machinery. We learned that it would take 10 minutes to milk one goat by hand, but with these pumps they can milk 14 goats in 4 minutes.
More farm learning resources
More farm posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Farm Animals 3-Part Cards
- Farm Animal Families 3-Part Cards
- Farm Printables Pack
- Farm do-a-dot printables
- Books about farm animals
- Farm Montessori activities
- Fun on the Farm preschool activities
- Fall on the Farm sensory bin