Growing Up

Tot School for Twos: Horse Play

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This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Tot School for Twos

Tot School for Twos Farm Fun - Horse PlayWe are finally getting around to the farm unit I started planning back when we were doing One Year Old Preschool!  I am so excited about some of the ideas we have, so keep checking back in the next few weeks to see what Farmer G is up to!

Our farm unit includes play and books related to farms, but each week will specifically focus on one animal.  First up was horses!

I had a few goals for the week in the unit: introduce vocabulary (horse, mane, gallop, etc.), reinforce and teach letters (H), and teach basic horse facts while having lots of fun!

Horse Sensory bins

I started our week in horses by creating a sensory bin for G to explore all week.  It was simply a bin with uncooked oats, some apples (from the decorative floral section of the store), a group of horses, and an apple bowl for scooping.  G constantly had fun with this.  When she woke in the morning she wanted to check on her horses and make sure they were fed.  When she went to bed, she put them in their barn, after feeding them their supper.  She enjoyed scooping the oats and adding the apples.  By the end of the week, the sensory bin also included a pan and spatula from her kitchen.

Activities:

In addition to the sensory bin play, we taught G how to write an uppercase H.  This is her first letter!  We went to the chalkboard and I showed her how to write an H and five minutes later, she was making her H!  I just told her as I wrote, “Up, down. Up, down. Across.”  We taught her what up and down and across were from a very early age while cleaning the glass shower doors in our bathroom.  So, she was well prepared for this pre-writing introduction.

drawing H We reinforced her knowledge of the letter H throughout the week with our craft project and when we were drawing on the chalkboard.  She loves to make Hs now!

This week we worked on fine motor skills with G by introducing lacing to her.  We had tried this on previous occasions, but her fine motor and problem solving skills were not yet refined enough to complete the task.  We started with a set of lacing beads from Melissa and Doug and continued with a homemade horse lacing card.  She worked through the problems she came across very well and was able to string lots of bead and pull lots of strings through the holes in her horse card.

lacing beads

G also helped in the kitchen to make what we called “horsey snacks.”  I simply took an apple, cored it, and sliced it into thin slices (with a mandoline – not  a child friendly device!).  Then I let G cover them in cinnamon and sugar and we baked them for a little while.  When they came out they were a sweet and sticky snack.

horsey snacks

Reading:

Our local library has a vast amount of books about farms and animals, but we haven’t made the trip to the library in a while, so we just used books we have on hand for the week.  During reading time, G put on her farmer hat and we read some of our favorite farm selections.

A new favorite for G is Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle.  She loves to open the book and “read” it.  She says, “beep, beep!” every time she spots the blue truck.

Arts and Crafts:

As I mentioned before we made a horse lacing card for G.  I downloaded a horse head template and printed it out.  Then I cut it out and traced the head onto a brown grocery sack. Then, I cut it out and punched holes in the area where the mane should be.  I laid out the horse heads for G to color.  This was an opportunity for her to practice her Hs and discuss the colors of horses (brown, black, grey, white).  When she was done with her coloring, I helped her to “give the horse a mane” by pulling brown yarn through the holes.  I made a few too many holes, so I helped her finish the project, but she enjoyed doing the first section of lacing.  The result was really cute!

horse lacing cardhorse lacing card 2horse lacing card 3

I took the same horse head template and traced it onto a piece of construction paper and backed it with contact paper.  G “gave the horse some hair” by placing bits of yarn onto the sticky contact paper.  This too came out very cute!

contact paper horse

Out and About:

We are still planning a visit to a friend’s horse stables to see a real horse, so stay tuned for that.  But while we were out around town, we pointed out horses and tractors.  We have a good amount of farm land in our area, so there is ample opportunity to talk about these things.  Each time we got to a specific farm, G would start looking for the tractor (they were plowing the fields this week).

We are having such fun with this farm unit.  I can’t wait to move onto the other barn yard animals!

Series Navigation<< Tot School for Twos: Getting the Ball RollingTot School for Twos: Pig Play >>

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11 Comments

  • Reply Stacie K. August 30, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    Now I know why she got so excited when we passed by a man with straw hat on in Home Depot parking lot. She yelled “there’s a farmer” and was giggling and talking about his animals. Pretty sure it was a landscaper, but we rolled with it.

    • Reply ussleah August 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      We call gardeners a special kind of farmer around here! She can spot them at quite a distance! And she does get pretty excited when she sees one!

  • Reply Dyan August 30, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    So many great activities. My niece loves horses and I am sure she’d love some of these activities.

    • Reply ussleah September 3, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      Thanks, Dyan! We had such fun with these, I bet she will too!

  • Reply Chelsey September 2, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I love this unit~ you incorporated so much learning and fun! I really love the horse head project~ what a creative way to work on fine motor skills! Thank you so much for linking up to Discover & Explore!

    • Reply ussleah September 3, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Thanks Chelsey! We do have lots of fun around here and it fun to come up with new ways to introduce learning. We kind of have a “throw it at the wall and see what sticks” philosophy.

  • Reply Shaunna @ Fantastic Fun and Learning September 6, 2013 at 4:36 AM

    Such a fun collection of activities. I really love your horse play sensory bin. Thanks for sharing at Discover & Explore! I’m featuring this post today.

    • Reply ussleah September 6, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      Thanks, Shaunna! We had such a good time with the horse sensory bin, I didn’t want to put it away to do another one! Thanks for the feature!

  • Reply Lauren September 14, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    So fun. I love lacing the mane on the horse template. Such a cute idea! Thank you for sharing at our Pinning for Play link party!

  • Reply OneMommy September 16, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    So cute! I love the sensory bin idea!

    Thanks for sharing — sharing on FB this week!

  • Reply Maria December 12, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    My daughter is in a horse phase right now and would love these activities! We actually have those fuzzy Melissa & Doug horses as well! I’ll have to create a sensory bin for her.

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