It wasn’t on Old McDonald’s Farm, but my preschool was housed on a farm. That meant learning and interacting with animals was, by default and design, mandatory. I enjoyed introducing children to and sharing with the joys of being up-close and personal with the farm animals. Just like I enjoy it with my grandchildren!
Farm Animals Teach Children So Much!
● The basics like:
· their looks;
· the sounds they make;
· what foods they eat;
· names for male, female and baby animals and/or;
· how they provide for humans
● When children have direct contact with animals they learn what responsibility is all about. One of the things preschool kidlets actually looked forward to each week was going over the chore chart. Each kiddo was assigned a chore for the whole week. One of the ‘chores’ included feeding the animals during the week as well as signing up, as a family, to come in to feed and clean pens on the weekend.
● Interacting with animals fosters their emotional intelligence. We had farm cats, plus rabbits and chickens outdoors; as well as guinea pigs and rats indoors that were always happy to be petted. Sometimes petting is all that is needed to turn a mood around. Other times unburdening yourself by talking to an animal can make a bad day better. Animals make faithful friends.
● Inevitably relationships with animals bring up the circle of Life. Preschool kiddos witnessed 1st-hand Life’s beginning via hatching chicken eggs and even seeing newborn kittens born up in the book loft. They also had to absorb and process death: due to illness, circumstances, or old age and then manage their resulting grief. I won’t lie, the kidlets often took it much, much better than Teacher Karen….
Curriculum: Old McDonald Farm Theme!
Farm-related themes fit naturally into the preschool’s curriculum. So, it’s probably no surprise we’d sing Old McDonald Had a Farm. For me, singing and stories go together. And you can do it too! SING along with me in the video below. Note the title of the story after the song. It might cause your kiddo to do a double-take or even laugh. Children love the silly and absurd! Use it to your advantage and have FUN with it!
Yours in Play!