Family Time – Here, There, Everywhere   Lesson 5 – A Day at the Farm

Waller family hayridePlaying “farm” provides a wonderful opportunity for your children to learn and practice basic concepts.   All ages of children enjoyed our hayride (pulling them along in towels around the room).  in every single class, the children requested “More”, “Do it again!”  Parents, remember that it is much easier on you if you pull along slick floors rather than carpet.  And, don’t forget to “neigh” like a horse as you pull them around.

Your infant will delight in hearing the silly animal sounds when you sing “Old MacDonald.” If you match your sounds to pictures of farm animals, or finger puppets or stuffed animals, you can help her make important language connections.  

We also practiced AUDIATION in class today, by leaving off the “I-E-I-O” part of the song.  This allows the child to hear the melody and sounds in his head.  Even babies are able to experience this effect.  When they hear a song repeatedly, they learn to expect the melody to continue in the same way.  When it doesn’t, they still hear the melody in their head.  This is an important skill that contributes, at any age, to good musicianship.  While driving in the car, after singing any song several times, leave off the last word or phrase, and allow your child to “hear it in their head” or sing that part themselves. 

Your toddler is at the age when baby animals are a fascination.  The realization that each baby animal has a mommy provides the means for exploring the parent-child relationship.   So your toddler will enjoy playing with toys, such as puzzles or play figures where you can match the baby to its mother.  The adult and baby often have slightly different sounds.  Such as chickens “cluck”, and chicks “peep”. 

Your preschooler, may still be fascinated by this relationship and ready for some pretend play.  My daughter LOVES this mommy/baby association, in our house, even the alphabet has mommy and baby letters.  “Here mom, talk for the mommy, and I’ll talk for the baby” is a phrase I hear multiple times a day, with all sorts of characters, letters, and even globs of playdough.   Preschoolers are also becoming intrigued with the details of animals, and through pretend play with parents or older siblings, they can learn more about them and how they are the same or different.  Which animals eat what, how and where do they sleep, what do they do for fun, what do these animals give us, ie. milk, eggs, etc.   Have fun exploring all the aspects of being an animal with your child! 

On my resources BLOG, , under the category “Animal Fun”, you will find instructions for the sign language for each of the farm animals, as well as a list of my favorite farm animal books.