Early Childhood Thematic Unit: Farm (Part 1)


During my 20 years in education, I met some amazing creative teachers.  There were groups of us who would create resources and share with one another.  Most of our creations were basically put in a file online for us to save and print as needed.  Many were in Yahoo groups or share sites for teachers.  This was long before facebook or pinterest.  Sadly, I don’t know who to give credit to on many of these activities.  I am only sharing what appears to be made with free clipart or with art sets I own.  The songs, rhymes, and poems are pretty much used in preschool/early childhood classes around the nation.  If you know of any I am sharing that breaks a copyright, please let me know. I have spent extra time writing to teachers that these could have possible come from, with no responses.  I would like to give credit and some of these are not my original ideas.


Farm Animal ABC Match
Using simple farm animal patterns, make a total of 26 pairs of animals.  Program adult animals with upper case letters and baby animal patterns with lower case letters.  Laminate for durability.  Have your child match upper and lower case letters.  You can use only letters familiar to your child and increase as needed.  These cards may also be used for flash cards.

Favorite Farm Animal Writing:
This activity should be done at your child’s development level.  Look at pictures of farm animals with your child.  Ask what your child’s favorite farm animal is and why.  If your child is writing, have him/her draw a picture of the animal and write, “I like a ___ because _____.”  If your child is not writing on his/her own, you can write the sentence under the picture.  The child can copy the sentence, if developmentally ready.

Tell A Farm Story:
Show your child a picture of a farm.  Have him/her tell/write a story about the picture.  For a more advanced activity, have some new farm vocabulary words that must be included in the story.

Farm Rhyme:
Give your child farm words and see if they can say words that rhyme.  Some easy words might be: farm, pig, cow, horse, goose, hay.

Beginning Sounds:
Show your child pictures of farm animals/equipment and have him/her tell you beginning sounds.

What’s That Sound:
Play sounds of animals on the farm.  Have your child guess what animal is making the noise.  This is a link to SoundBible with farm sounds: http://soundbible.com/tags-farm.html

Animal Word Match:
Find pictures of farm animals.  Write the word of the picture on an index card.  Have your child match the word to the picture.  You can use these Farm AnimalsWord Cards. (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)

Can You Find My Breakfast Interactive Story
Use this story as an interactive story with your children.  Cut out the animals and place a piece of felt on back for a flannel board or a magnet on back to use on a cookie sheet or refrigerator. (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)


Math Match Animals
Use a simple cow or pig pattern.  Write a number on the front side of the animal and color spots on the backside to match that number.  Cut the cow in half with a zig-zag or curvy line and have your child match the halves as a puzzle.

Animal Comparisons
Show your child several pictures of farm animals.  Have him/her compare and contrast two animals at a time.  For example: a pig and a horse:  Compare: four legs, hair, two ears, snout, mammals.  Contrast: size, color, tail

More or Less
Print pictures, or find magazine pictures of groups of farm animals.  For example, a picture with 4 cows and a pictures with 6 horses.  Ask questions like: How many cows do you see?  How many horses do you see?  Which picture has more?  Which has less?  How many more?  How many less?  How many would we have if we put them all in the same fence.  Have an assortment of pictures.  This would also be a great graphing activity.

Get in Order:
Have a variety of pictures of farm animals.  Free clipart from an online search will be fine.  Try to manipulate the photos/pictures, so they are all about the same size.  Have your child sequence the animals from lightest weight to heaviest weight, or in order of height or length.

Play the Cow counting Game(This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)


Life cycles:
Talk about the life cycle of a chicken.  If you have access to a fertilized egg, you may want to incubate and candle the egg as it develops, to watch the baby grow.  There are also videos of this online, if you do not have access.  If you do not have room for the chick, make sure you have made arrangements to provide for the new life.

It’s All In A Foot
Examine the feet of farm animals.  If you can’t go to a farm, simply do an online search for “photos of ____ feet.”  Compare them to each other and to human feet.  Compare skin type, toes, etc.  Introduce the word “hoof” and compare hooves of animals.

Milk a Cow
While you may not be able to go to a farm and milk a cow, you can simulate one at home.  All you need is a cardboard cut out of a cow and a latex glove.  Fill the glove with milk (or water) and tie off the glove like a balloon. Punch two pin holes in the fingertips of each finger of the glove.  Attach the glove to the place the udder would be on the cow.  To milk the cow, a finger will have to be pinched between the thumb and forefinger. Wrap the other fingers around the “finger” or “teat” and pull down.  Milk will come shooting out of the glove.  Have your little farmer wear a hat and sit on a “milking stool.”  You will also need a milking bucket and a camera, because this one is just too cute!!


Paper plate Farm Animals:
Many Paper plate farm animal patterns can be found free online.  I have many patterns on my pinterest page at: http://www.pinterest.com/lori4christ/paper-plate-crafts/

Clothes Pin Farm Animals:
Use simple outlines of farm animals.  Your child decorates the animal as desired.  Place clothes pins where the legs would be.  You can make a farm full of these animals to use in your block center.  Try putting cotton balls on the sheep/lamb.

Hand Print Animals:
Every farm animal you can imagine can be made with handprints or footprints, or both.  A quick search should result in numerous patterns.

Grain and Seed Collages
Using wild bird seed and sunflower seeds, make a collage.  Children can glue the seeds on sheets of constriction paper.  You can also have your child sort the seeds in the feed and use them to fill in a “farm picture.”  Use a simple farm coloring sheet and use a different seed on each section of the sheet.  If you know someone who has a farm, or have a farm feed store nearby, get small amounts of different feeds for farm animals. Many sell it by volume, allowing you to buy as little as you want.

Corn Cob Painting:
Put tempra paint in a recycled, cleaned meat tray.  Have your child dip a dried corncob in the pain and paint designs on construction paper by rolling the cob.  Use some with corn still intact and some that are empty of corn.  What happens when you did the end of the cob? What designs can be made only using the top?

Make sculpted farm animals. Give your child play dough and him/her shape a farm animal.


Build a Barn:
Go to your local furniture or appliance store and ask for an appliance box, or several.  Help your child paint the box red.  But in doors, a hay loft, etc.  It is a great barn for your child to role play.

Use blocks to build a barn/farm.

Make butter.  Place whipping cream in a jar and shake, and shake, and shake.  The butter will separate from the whey.  Add butter and serve for dinner with crackers or fresh bread.

Talk about all of the products we use that comes from a farm. Use these Products From the Farm Cards to help. (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)

Talk about tools a farmer uses.  If you have a farm implement company near by, go visit and look at the different tools and tractors.

Visit a farm.

Make a SHAPE TRACTOR using this page. (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)

Visit a farmer’s market.

Hubbarscupboard.com has a free emergent reader available for print named: “At The Farm”.

Play the “Farm Word Spelling Game by printing the pages of this pdf.  Cut the letter cards apart and have your child put the correct letters where they belong.  This is simply matching letters.   (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)

Use the Barn Counting Mats by printing the set of cards.  Use a set of play farm animals or small pictures of farm animals to have your child put the correct number of animals on each barn. Another option for using these cards: Find pictures of simple farm animal shapes.  Program shapes with dots to represent numbers.  The animals are sorted according to the barn their dots match.  You should have about 5 animals in each barn.  For example, find a cow, a goat, a sheep, a hen, and a horse. Make 10 of each animal.  I copy them into a Word document and decrease size to be about the same size as the barn cards.  Print the animals and using a marker, draw dots on each horse, 1-10.  Repeat with each animal.  (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)

Use the Cover Up Games from: http://www.barrbunch.com/mathmats.htm  Their instructions are included at the top of the page.  Available for so many themes.

Play the Barnyard Boogie.  Instructions included. .   (This was one of my share files and not my original creation.)

Here are some Song/Rhyme posters you can print and use.  These were part of the share group and not my original creations.

Cluck Cluck Red Hen

Down on Grandpa’s Farm.JPG


All Around the Barnyard.jpg


Part 2 of Farm Unit will be posted soon!!


This entry was posted in Early Childhood, Education, homeschool, lesson plans, Preschool, Thematic Units, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s