E-I-E-I-O!

My toddler has been obsessed with chickens since he turned 1, and both my boys are huge tractor fans so I knew we had to do a farm week sooner or later! Since spring is on the way, I figured now would be a great time! So get ready to get muddy and learn about all the cute animals because this week is sure to be farm-tastic!

Farm dirt sensory play: This activity was a huge hit with my toddler- he sat engaged with it for a good 20 minutes, then spent another 15 minutes or so giving all the animals baths in the sink- and asked to do it again later that day! You just make taste safe “dirt” by mixing 1/2 cup corn starch, 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup water, and about 3 cups of dry coffee (if you’re using wet recycled coffee grounds that’s awesome- just reduce your water to about 1/2 a cup). The result should be a fairly dry medium with lumps that kind of feels like moist soil! I put all the dirt on a baking sheet (with a towel under it to catch any spills- and there will be spills!) and set up our toy barn, farm animals and tractors near it and let my littles’ imaginations run wild! I got the dirt recipe from My Bored Toddler.

Muddy tractors bath play: Muddy trucks is one of my little’s favorite bath activities- I got the idea when my oldest was 2 from my friend Chelsea and it’s been a favorite in our house ever since! For farm week I decided to tweak it a little and do muddy tractors! We have about a million toy tractors, but they’re all nice metal ones from when my husband was a kid, so I dug out our one plastic one (so as not to ruin the vintage ones!) and some farm animals so both boys could play. To make the mud, whisk some Barbasol shaving cream (the kind that’s cheap and sprays out foamy instead of gel) with a splash of water and a good shake of cocoa powder- dark chocolate works best (we used regular since that’s what we had on hand and it’s not quite as dark and “muddy” as the dark chocolate kind). After your little has covered everything in mud, you can turn on the bath water and give them a toothbrush or a wash cloth to wash off the tractor and animals (my toddler did this over and over again- I just turned the bath water on a trickle and he would dip the cow toy in the mud then go wash it off again!) The fun part- the cocoa powder makes the bath smell like chocolate and the water looks muddy which the boys also think is great fun!

Muddy pig sensory play: I printed out and laminated a cute pig then gave it to my little with some chocolate pudding under its feet. I told my little he could paint the piggy with the pudding- and of course he tasted it too! I got this from Teaching Two and Three Year Olds. You can do this without laminating, but the paper absorbs the chocolate pretty quickly and kind of falls apart. If you don’t have a laminator, just tuck the page in a page protector- it should work about the same, especially if you tape the top shut with clear packing tape!

Doily sheep craft: I cut out a sheep’s head, legs and ears then gave my littles doilies and had them glue the body parts down in the correct places. Then we added little noses and googly eyes to make sheep! I got this idea from Dream Big Little One on Pinterest.

Hatching chick fine motor activity: Since my toddler loves chickens I knew this one would be a huge hit- and it was! He carried the paper chick around with him all day! LoL You just print out a chick, place a plain sheet of paper under it and cut out both in an egg shape (you’ll be cutting the egg shape around the chick). Then rip a small hole in the middle of the plain egg and glue it on top of the chick egg (only put glue around the edges!) After it’s dry, have your little help the baby chick hatch by tearing the top egg off starting at the hole. I got this idea from Kid Soup.

Eggs in a nest fine motor practice: I gave my little some large Legos flipped upside down and told him they were chicken nests. Then I gave him some tongs and pom poms. I said, “Oh no! These eggs fell out of Mama Chicken’s nest! Can you help her put them back in with these tongs so they don’t get broken!?” Then he carefully put all the pom poms in the Lego holes. Whenever he filled up a “nest” (Lego) I said, “Good job! Now Mama Chicken will sit on her eggs to keep them warm!” and put the stuffed chicken on top of the “nest”, which he loved! You can also count the eggs as your little puts them into each nest if you want to throw in some counting practice.

Mama hen and chicks hand print art: First, I reviewed with my little what colors chickens can be (we stuck with white, black, or brown, though I know there are some super fancy chickens out there!) I had my little choose one of those colors to make his chicken art. For the mama, I helped him do a hand print and for the chicks I showed him how to use his finger to make dots. Then I added eyes, beaks and feet. I got this idea from Mama in Grace.

Scribble chick: I got out the markers and some paper and asked my little what color chicks usually are and he said, “Need yellow!” I had him find the yellow and told him to color on the page with it. Then when he was finished, I added an eye, beak and legs to make a chick! I got this idea from KDV Cindy on Pinterest.

F is for farm: We practiced the letter F this week using this letter F do-a-dot page I printed then decorated with a farm. I also drew several letters around the large F for a hunt and find activity where I had my little try to find and dot only the Fs.

“Old McDonald Had a Farm”: We asked Alexa to sing “Old McDonald had a Farm” and I sang along. Then we did it on our own and I had my little tell me which animal was next. We did this during lunch, but you could also throw in a dance party to this classic or pretend to be the farm animals as you sing.

Supply/shopping list:

  • coffee grounds (dry works best, but you can use recycled too
  • flour
  • corn starch
  • chocolate pudding
  • popcorn
  • shaving cream
  • cocoa powder
  • paper doilies
  • toy farm animals
  • toy tractors
  • sheet pan
  • toothbrush or wash cloth
  • large Legos
  • stuffed chicken (small)
  • tongs
  • white pom poms

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