My sweet, sassy, short attention span five year old is enthralled with farms and farm animals. I decided that I wanted to spend a couple weeks doing a farm themed unit study with him for his ‘school’. He just turned five so he is not officially in Kindergarten yet but he loves the idea of ‘doing school’ like his older siblings. I want to encourage his love for learning without burning him out with too much work, so this was a perfect way to get him actively engaged on something that he loves, work on a few skills, and spend some time together.
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I spent some time each day working with him on different farm activities and then gave him some free time to play and explore using his farm toys and the other farm activities that I put together. One of his favorites was harvesting letters. I took out our set of magnetic letters, some black beans that we had for a sensory bin, and a couple of toy tractors that he had in his farm set. Then I put the beans and the letters into a large metal pan (you could use any deep dish). I explained to him that the beans were ‘soil’ and he needed to use his tractors to ‘harvest’ the letters that were planted in the soil. He would scoop up the letters and then we would talk about what each letter was before putting it into the bucket and scooping up another letter. He thought it was great fun and it helped him get a little practice with his letters.
Next, we did some shadow matching, puzzle making and cutting practice as a part of this fun on the farm printable pack from the multitaskinmom.com. We did not do the entire pack but picked a few activities that he would enjoy each day.
We added in some art by using these fun preschool You Are An Artist Barnyard Art Lessons. He did the chick hatching out of the egg the first day and then did all the rest of the lessons the next day because he was enjoying them so much. I pulled them up on the computer and he was able to work on the independently while I was helping my older children with some of their schoolwork.
Throughout the week, we read a variety of farm books. Some of my favorites are the Usborne On the Farm Shine a Light Book and Farm Animals. We also have the Baby’s Very First Tractor Book which I read with both my five year old and the baby. Another farm favorite in our house is the Otis series. These fun books about Otis the tractor get requested over and over.
For a more hands-on component of our study, my five year old helped his older brother tend our chickens and plant some squash and pepper plants in the garden. If you do not have room for a full garden, it would be lots of fun to plant a small container garden. You could plant lettuce which grows fast and can be harvested multiple times, or our family favorite, tomatoes. Herbs also tend to do very well in containers.
For some fun independent play my son has a Fisher Price Little People Farm set as well as a variety of other farm toys. He can use his imagination to set them up and ‘play farm’. He loves to build farms and create stories of the events that are going on at the farm. I am blessed that my older son is gracious enough to often get on the floor and play with him. It is a great bonding experience for them. While we have cleared out a lot of his toys because he was struggling with cleaning up and clutter, the farm set has been a staple for several years.
Finally, I scheduled our unit study around a fun farm field trip. We had some friends invite us on a field trip to an alpaca farm. My son loves llamas and I knew that since they are so similar, he would really enjoy the alpaca farm. We were able to see the different alpacas, learn about how they care for and groom them, and see various products made from alpaca wool. My five year old really enjoyed it and my older children are dreaming of starting an Alpaca farm.
As luck would have it, our church also had a farm event going on during our study. One of the generous families from our church invited all of the families with young children out to see their farm. We were able to pet a cow and some sheep, take a hayride, and hang out with the chickens. This was a great time with friends and perfect for our farm study. If you do not know of a field trip in your area, check with local farms. Many of them will welcome scheduled groups to see their animals or crops. You can also contact your local cooperative extension to see what activities might be available.
We had a great time with our farm unit study and home you get some ideas to help you teach your children about farms. I would love for you to share any other ideas you have in the comments!
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Deals and Freebies
Schoolhouse Teachers is also offering a great sale!
Fit2B just announced they are having a Mother’s Day sale! Use code mothersday25off for 25% off! We use this for both my personal fitness and some of our PE for the kids (all included in one membership). A great way to get you safely moving and incorporate fitness into a busy day.
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Enrichment Studies has a great free fine arts memory match game this month!
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!
The Tummy Team is having a 35% off sale! This makes for some very reasonably priced online rehab programs or esessions. I am excited to be getting a course to help me get back to being in my best health! I have loved the other courses that I have taken from them and they are so helpful and supportive. I know this one is not directly homeschool related but it affects so many moms that I wanted to share.