A Farm Theme includes Old MacDonald, and your preschoolers will want to learn all about it! This Farm Theme page is filled with preschool lesson plans, activities and ideas for all of the interest learning centers in your preschool classroom.
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: Items from recycling (small boxes, milk cartons, etc.) and miscellaneous items (buttons, ribbons, etc.) and glue.
The children make their own tractor out of these items.
EXTENSION: When dried, the children can paint their tractors.
Provide lots of pieces of straw (hay) to paint with instead of brushes! When done, the children can glue the straw onto the paintings!
Provide different colors and lengths of yarn. Explain that wool yarn is made from sheep's fur! They can make some great collages by gluing the yarn on paper.
Have the children dip chalk into buttermilk and then draw on paper. This makes a great effect!
Fruit and Vegetable Prints
Materials Needed: Cut different fruits and vegetables in half for the children to paint with. Try peppers, star fruit, apples, oranges...each make a great design on the paper!
Materials Needed: feathers, paper plates, googly eyes, paper plates, glue, strips of orange paper and scissors ( to make legs!)
Cotton Ball Sheep
Materials: Black paper, cotton balls, googly eyes Cool looking sheep!
Corn on the Cob Painting
Roll corn on the cob onto paint in shallow trays and then roll onto paper.
Farm Theme Dairy Board
Materials: Pages of magazines with food products, especially dairy products, in them; scissors, glue, poster board.
Label the board "OUR DAIRY BOARD".
Discuss with the children what types of foods are dairy. Show them the magazine pictures. They cut out dairy pictures and glue them on the board.
EXTENSION: Make a second board called "NOT DAIRY". Many of the children will just cut out food, their focus will be more on cutting or more on cutting out foods they like! After cutting out the food items, talk about the type of food it is and have them glue it on the appropriate board.
Thank you Barb from Gilbert, AZ for this idea!
Use pink construction paper. Have children cut out a circle for the head, an oval for the body, rectangles for the legs and triangles for the ears. You can pre-cut as much as needed for different age levels. When complete, take a waded up paper towel and lightly dip in brown paint and make the pigs "dirty". Great to review shapes,cutting and following directions.
Farm Theme Landscape Cloth
Materials: White sheet and permanent marker. Have the children tell you what is on a farm. Draw a barn and some roads and then add what they suggest (cow, house, tractor, etc.).
Place this in the block area for the children to build on! Add cars and tractors to your block area.
Add tractors and small, plastic farm theme animals to the block area during this theme!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Space Theme!
Once Upon a Time...
Materials Needed: In advance, make many flannel board pieces. Include a boy and a girl as well as farm animals and products (fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc.).
Give each child a flannel piece. Start the story by placing the boy and girl next to a flannel farm piece. "Once upon a time, a boy and a girl went to the farm."
Invite one child to add their flannel piece. Discuss what it is and if they like it or an attribute about it. Add that to the story. "They hear a black and white cow. It said MOO!".
Continue until all the children have added a flannel piece.
EXTENSION: Place the board and pieces in the library area for the children to continue to make up more stories throughout this theme!
Who Am I?
Materials: In a bag or box, have a variety of stuffed farm animals or puppets or produce. Place your hand in the bag or box and give hints to the children about the type of animal or item it is.
I am yellow and soft and fluffy (duck)
I am yellow and bumpy. I have green stuff around me. When you pull the green stuff off...etc. (corn on the cob)
Clara the Cow
What is a Farm Theme without milking a cow?! Materials Needed: 2 non latex glove, a cow shape drawn out of sturdy cardboard, milk, bowl.
Attach a glove to the bottom of the cow and discuss udders with the children.
Take the second glove and pour a little milk into one of the fingers. Poke a hole in the finger with a common pin. Have the children squeeze the finger of the glove to milk the cow into the bowl.
Group Farm Theme Scene
In advance, cut out a large piece of paper to fit in the middle of the circle area. Draw a large barn on it. Discuss farm life. Give the children markers so that they can add to the scene during the discussion!
The Giving Farm Poem
by Vicki Witcher
Hens give eggs.
Pigs give ham.
Cows give milk.
Strawberries give jam.
Bees give honey.
Goats give cheese.
Farms give food,
I'd like some, please!
EXTENSION: Make animals and foods into flannel board pieces. Give one to each child and they place them on the board as you say the poem.
Make a Scarecrow
Talk to the children about scarecrows and why the are at farms. Bring in old pants and a shirt and lots of hay (if no allergies) or newspaper to crumple and stuff into the scarecrow!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation!
Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific Space theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Fruit or Vegetable Salad
Ingredients and Items needed: Any items you want to make the salad, vegetable peelers, plastic knives. Have the children help you rinse the food and then cut and prepare a salad for snack!
Ingredients and Items Needed: Send a note home asking each parent to send in one vegetable to make a Friendship Soup! The children help clean, peel and prepare the vegetable. Place all the items in a saucepan with water and some vegetable stock for flavor. Boil for about 45 minutes, enjoy!
Ingredients and items needed: Whipping cream (liquid, in the milk/cream department of the grocery store), glass jar with cover, pinch of salt, crackers.
Explain to the children that butter is made from the milk that the cows give.
Place a small amount of whipping cream into the jar. Cover tightly. Have the children shake (I usually have them shake "SUPER FAST AND HARD!" 10 times each). If jar seems full, open and pour out excess liquid. Cover and continue shaking.
It will make butter! Add a pinch of salt and mix. Spread on crackers. Yum! And, they made it themselves!
OR--Make Your Own Bread!
Ingredients needed: 2 cups white flour, 1 cup wheat flour, 1 package Fleischman's Rapid Rise yeast, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup hot water, 3 tablespoons of oil, 1 gallon heavy duty freezer bag, bread loaf pan, 9 X 13 inch pan, cookie sheet, towel to cover bread.
In the freezer bag, have the children help to measure in 1 cup of white flour, the yeast, the dry milk and the salt.
Force air from the bag and seal. Have the children shake to mix the ingredients.
Add the hot water and oil. Reseal bag and mix by working it with your fingers. (This part is the teacher's job! The water is hot!)
Have the children help to add the whole wheat flour. Reseal the bag and let the children help to squish and mix.
Gradually add enough remaining white flour to make a stiff dough that pulls away from the bag.
Flour a surface and knead dough until it is smooth and elastic.
cover the dough with a towel and let sit for 10 minutes. Measure to show where it is. In 10 minutes, show the children that it has risen some!
Roll the dough out to approximately 12 X 7 inch rectangle.
Roll the dough up from the narrow end. Pinch the edges and ends to seal the bread.
Place bread in oiled loaf pan. Show the children how high the bread is.
The rest of the instructions should be done by an adult only, not near the children due to the boiling water.
Fill a 9 X 13 inch pan with boiling water.
Place a cookie sheet on top of the 9 X 13 inch pan and place the loaf pan on the cookie sheet.
Cover with the towel. Let dough rise 20 minutes or until it has doubled in sized. Show children how high it is now!
Bake at 375 F for about 25 minutes.
Turn your dramatic play area into a stand by providing shopping baskets, plastic fruits and vegetables, a cash register and play money, grocery bags, paper, pencils (for shopping lists), etc.
A Farmer's Work Is Never Done
Place bales of hay (if there are no allergies), work gloves, boots, straw hats, plastic food (fruits, vegetables, milk products), overalls etc.
More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)
Red and Black Paint
Paint a barn! Hang barn pictures around your easel for your children to see. Encourage them to paint their own barns!
Bean Bag Toss
Materials: Bean bags and different items to toss the bean bags into! Try using a metal pail (like a milking pail), a pile of hay (like a chicken nest), etc.
Materials: Many, many hard boiled eggs and tablespoons (metal).
The children try to get from one spot to the other carrying the egg on the spoon! If you don't want to use real eggs, use plastic eggs!
EXTENSION: When done, the eggs (I'm sure!) will be cracked! Have the children help you peel them and make egg salad for serve on crackers or on bread for lunch!
Some Farm Theme Classics!
Teach your children how to play The Farmer In The Dell or Duck, Duck Goose!
Book Suggestions for the LibraryBarnyard Banter Board Book by Denise Fleming
Most of these books may be available at your local library. You can also purchase them by clicking on the titles. Do not limit yourself to the titles I have listed!
There are so many books to use in a farm theme that will support your preschool lesson plans in your preschool classroom!
Seed Guessing Jar
Place seeds in a sealed jar. Leave the jar in your math area with a chart that reads "How Many?". Encourage the children to guess by looking (not taking the seeds out), how many seeds are in the jar. They should print their name and the number of their guess on the chart.
After a day or so, bring the jar to circle with the chart and have the children help you count out the seeds.
Materials Needed: In advance, make paper animal shapes. Write one numeral (0-9) on each of ten of the shapes and laminate.
These can be used in many ways: The children put them in order 0 through 9; The children can feed the animals the number of feed corn pieces (or pom poms!) that is listed on the animal.
Measure and Compare
Place different fruits and vegetables at the manipulatives table for the children to explore. Provide large trays (such as cookie sheets) and tape measures and rulers. Show the children how to use them.
Let them explore the fruits and vegetables and encourage them to measure and to sort them by color, size, etc.
EXTENSION: Add a scale for the children to weigh the fruits and vegetables and discuss the results.
EXTENSION: Cut open the fruits and vegetables after they have had a few days to explore the outsides. Now they can check out the insides as well!
Play Dough Barnyard
Provide different colors of playdough, animal (farm related) cookie cutters and other play dough items (scissors, plastic knives, etc.) for the children to make their own farm scene.
Farm Animal Sorter
Provide farm animal sorters for the children to sort with bowls to sort into.
You'd be surprised how many ways the children will sort them: by color, by size, animals with 2 legs, animals that eat grass, etc.!
Farmer in the Dell
Thanks to Kattie Harmon from Marion, OH for submitting this!
Have each preschooler be a part in the song. One child will be the farmer, wife, nurse, cat, dog, etc. When everyone is singing their part in the song, that child comes to the middle and be that person.
The farmer in the dell, The farmer in the dell, Hi-Ho the Derry-O The farmer in the dell.
The farmer takes a wife (husband), the farmer takes a wife (husband), Hi-Ho the Derry-O The farmer takes a wife (husband).
The wife (husband) takes a child....
The child takes a nurse.....
The nurse takes a cow...
The cow takes a dog...
The dog takes a cat...
The cat takes a rat....
The rat takes some cheese...
The cheese stands alone...
VARIATION: Make or print out each character for a felt board. You can cut the characters out of felt OR you can cut them out of paper, laminate them and add felt to the back or add a piece of dryer sheet to the back. When singing the song, each child comes to the flannel board and places his/her piece on.
I am a...
Have the children use their bodies to imitate a fruit. They can pretend to be grapes, eggs hatching, etc.
Take Me Out To The Barnyard
Sung to Take Me Out To The Ball Game by Judy Hall
Take me out to the barnyard.
Take me out there right now.
How me the cows, pigs and horses, too.
I hear an oink and a neigh and a moo.
There are chickens laying their eggs.
If they don't lay eggs it's a shame.
Oh, it's one, two, three eggs today,
And I'm glad I came!
Sung to Wheels on the Bus By John Saltsman
The cows in the barn go moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo; moo, moo, moo.
The cows in the barn go moo, moo, moo,
All around the farm.
pigs in the pen go oink, oink, oink
hens in the coop go cluck, cluck, cluck
rooster on the fence goes cock-a-doodle-doo
ducks in the pond go quack, quack, quack
lambs on the hill go baa, baa, baa
bunnies in the hutch go (silently wiggle nose with finger)
Five Cows All Black and White
Sung to 5 Little Speckled Frogs
Five cows all black and white
Chewed their cud from day to night
So they could give milk sweet and pure.
One left the barn one day
so she could find more hay
then there were 4 cows all black and white.
Ten Clean Squeaky Pigs
Sung to 5 Little Speckled Frogs
Ten pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest pigs you've ever seen!
Wanted to go outside and play
One jumped into the mud
And landed with a great, big THUD!
Then there were nine clean squeaky pigs.
5 White and Fluffy Sheep
Sung to 5 Little Speckled Frogs
Five white and fluffy sheep
In the pasture fast asleep
Their wool kept them cozy all night long.
The farmer slipped away with one
and sheared the wool till he was done
Then there were four white fluffy sheep.
Sing this classic song with the children. Have them act out the animal you sing about and encourage them to make that animal sound!
Soil and Seeds
Materials: Potting soil and seeds and spray bottles. The children plant seeds and mix it up and water it!
Add dry beans of different types to the table. Provide water wheels, spoons, cups and other measuring Items.
Place corn still in husks in your sensory table. Show the children how to husk the corn and let them go at it! Save the corn to cook! Eat some with some home made butter (instructions are further up on the page under the COOKING ACTIVITIES section). You can also use the corn for the ART ACTIVITY above for painting!
Ducks on the Pond
Place plastic ducks of different sizes to float and count in the water.
Growth of a Plant
Plant a few seedlings with the children. Leave the plants in the science center with rulers and markers. The children should each have their own paper at the table with their name on it.
Each day they should measure the plant and then draw it's growth on their paper.
You could also measure and list the height on a chart that stays on the wall behind the plant.
Materials: Place magnifying glasses and items such as feathers, corn feed, hay, etc. for the children to investigate.
Sheep provide only wool cloth, not cotton or cotton balls. (The cotton PLANT grows and provides cotton cloth.) Sheep provide lanolin (an oil felt in their coat) which we use in many products including lotion, cosmetics, candles and even sutures, pills & film! They also provide leather & meat. (thank you to Jennifer M. for this information!)
Provide wool yarn, wool fabric, candles mad with lanolin and some film (if you can find it!) along with magnifiers for the children to check out different products that come from sheep!
Farm Theme Scene Stamping
Materials Needed: Farm stamps, stamp pads, markers and paper.
Encourage the children to draw ponds, clouds, a barn, etc. and use the stamps to complete their scene. Write down their barnyard stories!
Farm Theme Field Trips
Places To Go!
Take a trip to:
A local farm!
The produce department of the local grocery store to shop for specific items. You could call ahead to see if the produce manager could give you and your children a tour and talk about where they get some of their items.
Or, you could go with the children and have each of the responsible to find and carry ONE item to the check out with you.
A local farm stand.
Farm Theme Classroom Visitors
Some ideas for visitors:
Parent who does gardening
Local Farm Stand owner