We 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!