Wednesday, May 20, 2009

F is for Farm Field Trip: Part 1 Activites at Home

{Let me begin this post by apologizing for big blurry smudge on each of the photos, I realized my lens was dirty only after I uploaded and edited them.}

Our play group is going on a field trip to a local farm tomorrow, so we've been getting ready for it with some activities at home. I just love going to the farm, I took my students every year I taught kindergarten and it's my favorite field trip by far. Getting out in the sunshine, seeing the animals, the smell of fresh hay on the tractor ride, not to mention all the fun getting ready to go in class is a great way to welcome spring and also ties into the planting unit we do around the same time.
Making and extending patterns is a common early childhood benchmark, and it's usually done with objects. These animal sounds pattern strips are a fun alternative, if you don't mind a lot of silly fun! ER really liked this one, even though continuing on a pattern is still a skill that needs work, she'd probably practice for hours with this activity. She liked it a lot better than making patterns with objects. Plus after we'd done it a few times, we got up and added animal movements to each one, which gave it a kinestetic component, that's so good for wiggly little bodies!

Point to each animal and make that animal sound. So for the bottom one we made the simplest pattern ABABABAB or in this case: duck, dog, duck, dog, duck, dog, duck, dog. It's ER's task to know what comes next when we get to the last one, so duck in this example. I made enough strips so that by the time we went through them all, she didn't remember them. I put a few samples of beginning patterns in my picture, but since ER beginning I only used ABAB patterns with her.Because noisy activities are always the most fun, we also played Old MacDonald Farm Dice Sing A Long. I did an image search for fold up dice and found the pattern I used to make my dice. I thought it'd be easier to see and understand if I showed it to you before it was glued up, but basically you put glue on the flaps and make your own mini paper dice. Ours was printed on cardstock.

Now it's time to sing the song over and over...and over and over. ER rolls the dice, tells me the animal's name, and we sing the verse about that animal. To begin basic 1:1 correspondence skills, we made a little line on our dry erase board every time we sang about a particular animal and counted them up when we were done. I wrote the number too, not that it meant anything to her☺We talked about habitats and where different animals live. I made the habitat and animal sorting cards for her using clip art from my MS Homepublishing program. It was harder than I thought it would be for her to sort all the animals. This activity provides lots of great opportunities to talk about all sorts of things.

The cards help ER bring up memories, for example when we came to the horse she wanted to talk to me all about her memories of seeing horses through the window while on a car ride to visit Great Grandma. It was really nice to just sit and have lots of great conversation with her.The last one we've been having fun with is pennies for the piggies. I modified a game I used with my kindergarteners for ER. We're working on counting and 1:1 correspondence so for ours, I made piggy banks for 1-10 and then added a penny graphic I also found through a Yahoo image search on it to match the target number. We counted and laid a penny on top of each penny graphic. So simple and yet so hard for my kidlet! She did love getting to hold the money though!

For kindergarteners I had two versions one with just numbers 1-30 written on them and the kids had to count out pennies to put in the piggy bank. That was the review task because my farm unit was in spring and hopefully, because I was such an excellent teacher they'd mastered that skill by then. The harder task was to count out a variety of coins to make the amount listed on the bank sheet. So for eight cents I wanted them to put a nickle and three pennies on it.

We'll be going to the farm tomorrow and as a special treat Brad aka Daddy is taking the day off work to come with us! ER is very excited and hopes to see a pony at the farm and we're all hoping for lovely weather so we can enjoy a picnic lunch in the sunshine. We'll see how it goes, we've been talking up how fun the farm is. Previously, she has been a little afraid of the animals when we're right next to them. and feeding them...oh no, wasn't going to happen. She's so terrified of the goats and yet she loves pony rides, go figure!

I just love finding more great ideas to do with my kidlet, try I Blame My Mother for more Kid Friendly Friday activities and The Ramblings of the Crazy Woman for Friday's Showcase for more!

10 Friends Said:

DairyQueen said...

Wow! I love this! I am bookmarking it for our farm unit this fall. My younger dd will enjoy this :)

You just have the best ideas!

Izzie, Mac & Me said...

My 2 year old will love all these great activities! Thanks. Where did you find the animal pattern strips and the fold up dice pattern?

Mama King said...

First off great post. I like to do activities at home leading up to an adventure too! I really like your habitat cards. Are they part of some teaching tools you had or did you make them? I think that is such a fun game and you are right full of opportunities to start some great conversations. Thanks again for some great ideas.
By the way, had some girl friends over last night for wine & cheese. We made your cards you featured yesterday for father's day. I'll post about it later this week.

Grandma Norma said...

What a wonderful day for a farm trip. Hope the "cockle- doddle-do"
doesn't scare ER this time.

Heidi Boos said...

Seriously, I so wish we lived closer. I would be sending my daughter to your house to play EVERY DAY just so she would learn some great stuff...I'm seriously slacking. Have you ever considered doing preschool out of your home?

Have fun at the farm! The kids love going there!!

Sharon said...

Great stuff!! I grew up on a farm and take the kids there a few times a year. We're going again at the end of June and we are SO excited!!

sunnymama said...

Wow! There are a lot of great ideas in this post. I really like your Old MacDonald Farm Dice Sing A Long activity. Sounds really fun :)

jennwa said...

What great animal games.

Thanks for sharing with Friday Showcase!!!!

Melissa said...

I love these ideas! Where did you get your animal graphics?

MLT said...

would also like to know if you offer printables or can point me in the right direction to find these graphics. I would like to try the dice in particular, and love the sequencing as well!

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