Tuesday, June 12, 2018

20 Ways To Explore Farm Animals With A 20 Month Old

"Moo!" said the cow.

"Oink!" said the pig.

"Baa!" said the sheep.

"Cheep! Cheep!" said the chick.

Is your life just animal noises on repeat at the moment? Then you might just have an animal obsessed toddler.

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I don't know what it is about farm animals, but everyone of my girls has gone through a "farm stage," where they just couldn't get enough of farm animals. It's quite a common phase for toddlers to go through and can even be beneficial to their language development.

It's also a great opportunity for us as parents to help our children develop dispositions for learning by helping them use play to investigate and explore ideas and encouraging our children to follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration.

To that end I've collated a list for you of 20 ways to explore farm animals with a 20 month old. Many of the activities can also be used with younger and older children.

Let the fun begin!

1. Books! Books! Books!
One of the best ways to expand your toddler's vocabulary and to explore ANY subject that they are interested in is to read to them! Reading to your toddler for just 15minutes a day can make a HUGE impact on your child's life.
Here's 5 farm books that my kids love:
Old MacDonald Had a Farm -everyone loves a little Golden Book! This was Bubbles' favourite farm book. We spent many, many nights singing it, over, and over, and over again!
God Loves You, Little One-a touch and feel and lift the flap book, this has been JB's favourite for over a year now. It's quite simple and goes through the sounds each animal makes using rhyme.
Stuck in the Mud-this book has been loved by all three of our kids, it's simple, the text becomes predictable which means the kids can join in reading and the end is quite funny too.
Night Night, Farm- I bought this book for my niece because Numnut had made her a farm for her birthday but also because had Owls in it which my SIL loves. It was such a good book, I ended up buying a copy for our kids too. As you'd expect it goes around the farm and wishes each of the animals a Night Night.
Goodnight Farm-again, this book takes you on a journey around the farm. It has more text than your usual toddler book which helps increase vocab and also means it will grow with your child. JB's favourite bit is ofcourse the touch and feel elements.

2. Sensory Bin
Encourage your child to explore their new interest with their senses by creating a sensory bin! This one from Best Toys 4 Toddlers looks like so much fun and is simple to create: https://besttoys4toddlers.com/farm-sensory-bin/


3. Sticky Sheep
This acitivty was from our 6 Day Play Challenge, pop on over to our Facebook Group to find out all about it!

4. Farm Themed Snack
Theming your child's snacks is another fun way to encourage their interest in farm animals.

5. Quiet Book
Is your tot starting to drop nap time? Need a few moments of quiet? Need some entertainment for the doctors surgery or church? Why not create a farm-themed Quiet Book. See Vanessa Craft has all the details and patterns you'll need: http://seevanessacraft.com/2012/10/tot-school-tuesday-farm-animal-finger-puppets/

6. Duplo Animal Puzzles
Create some amazing animal puzzles and work on your child's developing interest in farm animals as well as their cognitive skills and fine motor skills. Mummy Lozz made these using the helpful instructions from I Can Teach My Child: https://www.icanteachmychild.com/animal-mix-up-legos/

7. Farm Matching Game
Improve your child's concentration and develop their visual memory with this ever so simple classification game from The Art Kit: https://www.theartkitblog.com/farm-animals-simple-matching-activity-kids/

8. No Mess Muddy PigsAllow your toddler to express themselves with minimal clean up! We love these muddy Pigs from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds: https://teaching2and3yearolds.com/awesome-muddy-pig-sensory-art-for-toddlers/

9. Messy Pig Painting
Draw a pig with a marker on the inside side of a window at your child's height. Mix a little cocoa with some shaving cream (or whippped cream if your child is liable to sneak a taste!), give your child a paintbrush, go outside and make the pig muddy! Provide a cloth to clean the pig and repeat as many times as your child wishes.

10. Farm Nursery Rhymes
Telling and singing nursery rhymes is a great, no-prep activity to help increase your toddler's language skills. Check out these farm-themed nursery rhymes Rainy Day Mum collected: https://rainydaymum.co.uk/farm-nursery-rhymes-and-songs/

11. Farm Themed Painting
If you have a busy, farm obsessed toddler then this activity is for you! Even toddlers who have been reluctant in the past to explore art activities tend to love this! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds has all the details for you: https://teaching2and3yearolds.com/toddler-farm-painting-activity/


12. Create a story basket
Choose a favourite book and pair it with some toys, puppets or instruments that will enhance your story telling! This is one that Mummy Lozz made.

13. Montessori Vocab Game
Increase your toddler's vocabulary with this fantastic matching game from Living Montessori Now: https://livingmontessorinow.com/montessori-inspired-farm-animal-matching-vocabulary-for-babies-and-toddlers/

14. Farm Themed Playdough
Pair that ever popular sensory activity known as playdoough with some farm themed items and have a ball! Fun Learning for Kids has all the details for you: https://funlearningforkids.com/farm-play-dough-activity/

15. Messy Sheep
This is another popular activity from our 6 Days of Play Challenge. Pop on over to our Facebook Group to find out all about it!

16. Invitation to Build Farm Fences
Fence those animals in with this fun building, invitation to play from House of Burke: http://www.houseofburkeblog.com/2014/05/building-fences-farm-invitation-to-play.html

17. Washing Farm Animals
All you need for this fun sensory experience is some bubbly water, dirt and farm animals. Checkout Coffee Cups and Crayons for all the details: https://www.coffeecupsandcrayons.com/washing-farm-animal-sensory-bin/


18. Small World
Create a small scale farm or an environment for just one favourite animal. Mummy Lozz made this horse small world for her 2 year old.

19. Farm Animal Treasure Hunt
This super simple treasure hunt game is sure to delight the farm obsessed toddler! Head on over to Inspiration Laboratories for all the details: http://inspirationlaboratories.com/farm-animal-treasure-hunt-for-toddlers/

20. Sticky Pig
Delight your child's senses, encourage their developing interest in farm animals and develop their fine motor skills with this fun activity! Simply cut a piece of clear contact to fit a window at your child's height, draw a pig on the shiny side and tape to the window with the the sticky side facing outwards. Provide your child with paper or nature items or bubble wrap to stick to their pig.

If you're after some inspiration be sure to join our Facebook Group.

Please always supervise your infant/child at play.  Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.  You know you're infant/child best, use your own judgement-considering your infant/child's temperament, habits, behaviour and development before you play with a new play medium.

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