Farmyard friends

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By Sally GrayEarly Years practitioner and writer

Develop children’s communication and numeracy skills with fun activities using familiar farm animals

Toy animals

Activities in this article:

  1. Who am I?
  2. How many animals?
  3. Cross-curricular activities

1. Who am I?

Sing ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ as you enjoy this fun feely bag game

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Dispositions and Attitudes

Development matters: Display high levels of involvement in activities (40–60+ months).

Early learning goal: Be confident to try new activities, initiate ideas and speak in a familiar group.

What you need

A large feely bag; a selection of plastic farm animals.

What to do

Start by singing the song ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ together. Include the farm animals that you have in your feely bag in the song. Now ask the children to make a circle and explain that you will pass the bag around the circle as you sing. Choose an animal from the bag, place it in the middle of the circle and use it to start the song (if it is a pig, then the first verse is about a pig). Whoever is holding the bag as you sing the final ‘E-I-E-I-O’ takes a turn to put their hand in the bag and choose an animal. Ask them not to show it to the children, but invite them to describe it and give clues for the other children to guess what it is. Encourage older children to describe the animal and say something about it, such as, It lives on a pond and it has wings and a beak. Younger children might like to imitate the noise it makes. Once you have established which animal is next, continue the singing as you pass the bag again. Continue for several turns or until all the animals have been chosen.

Observation and assessment

Look, listen and note

Are the children eager to take a turn and also able to wait and watch while others enjoy their turns?

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