Children can find it very difficult to re-tell stories and even harder to make them up. This is particularly so if they have not had much experience with stories and story telling in the preschool setting.
There are a variety of ways to involve children with texts, and the use of ‘story trays’ is one that does not only spark an interest in reading but also involves much talk and discussion, which is why we include them in our curriculum!
A story tray is a tray containing a book, plus items associated with the story, which might include characters in the form of soft toys or puppets. There might also be a non-fiction book on a similar theme, which allows children to experience different types of text.
These items are used to help bring the story to life. They provide a visual and tactile stimulus that the children can use to take part in the telling or re-telling of the story. Children of all abilities enjoy using them but they can be particularly useful in helping children who are not interested in reading, for whatever reasons, to enjoy books. For this activity, we used a variety of items to re-tell the story of a book called Vegetable Soup. Each child was given one of the items in the story, and as the story was read, they would add their item to the tray. Some of these items included toy vegetables, a water can, soil, toy shovels, and seeds!
A barn is usually found on a farm.
These special buildings are mostly used for housing animals, storing grain or hay, or keeping equipment.
This open-ended activity enabled our students to construct their own barns.
We first used red blocks (placed on green rice which simulated grass), and then red panels.
Before beginning, students learned that if it’s cold or raining, the barn is a safe and dry place for the farmer’s animals to sleep.
The concept of a barn is central to our farm theme, so it was important that your little one use a variety of materials to create their own version of it!
To further incorporate the many uses of a barn, we also read a story about how a barn is used to store supplies such as grain and hay. Lastly, we sang a song about the color red during circle time because barns are red!
From the cow to the carton, creating milk is a high-tech process.
In factories, milk goes through a series of stainless steel pipes to large refrigerated vats and is stored at 4°C. Within 48 hours, sterile refrigerated tankers take it to the milk factory, where it’s pasteurized and homogenized at the same time.
But, how did we get the milk from the cow to the machine? This activity aimed to teach your little one just that. After watching a short video on cow milking, we created our very own dairy farm here at school!
This was a great way to teach your little farmers about cows and where milk comes from. Preschoolers learn best by doing, and they milked a cow, just like a farmer would.
Using a large picture of a cow, rubber gloves and white paint, we milked our cows, letting the paint fall onto the ground.
Having young children work together as a large group can prove to be a very positive experience.
Together they communicate and create.
As a result, they cooperate and collaborate!
It is this reason that we combined a group project with a dramatic play activity.
For this, we painted some large boxes red, and then turned them into barns!
This dramatic play experience helped your little one integrate all they have been learning about barns and farm animals.
This type of play is an integral part of the developmental learning process by allowing children to develop skills in such areas as abstract thinking, literacy, and social studies, in a timely, natural manner.
Farms play host to an array of adorable animals. These creatures provide a rich texture of color that adds to the intrigue of the daily workings of a farm.
During circle time we discussed the roles of these animals, and concluded the morning with a fine motor experiment!. Using brown watercolor, pipettes, and pictures of pigs, we observed how color can be manipulated with different instruments.
As it is sucked into the pipettes and dropped onto the paper, it quickly spreads onto the surface of the paper fabric.
Your little scientist not only practiced their fine motor skills, but experienced the benefits of cause and effect
Farm themes are always popular with preschoolers, because they easily incorporate so many of their favorite activities: pretend play, sensory, small worlds and more!
We love it too because we can really think outside of the box with the activities and provocations we present to your budding farmers.
One of our farm days focused on sheep, sheep farms, and the wool they provide for us.
Your students were taught that the sheep’s wooly coat gets a haircut with clippers; the same way their daddy or maybe they might get a haircut!
They learned that the special clippers used on sheep are called shears, and it is called shearing a sheep when a farmer gives a sheep a haircut.
After learning all about sheep we put together an activity where the children could pretend to be farmers and shear some sheep themselves. We used shaving cream, balloons, and a large craft stick to “shear” our wooly friends.