With a preschool based on a farm, 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!
Animals can teach children so much! Beyond the basics like:
● what they look like
● the sounds they make
● what they eat
● the names for male, female and baby animals and/or
● what they provide for humans
When children have direct contact with animals they learn what responsibility is all about. The preschool kidlets had ‘chores’ that included feeding the animals during the week as well as signing up as a family to come in to feed and clean pens.
Interacting with animals fosters their emotional intelligence. There were 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, but other times unburdening yourself by talking to an animal can make a bad day better. Animals can make faithful friends.
Inevitably relationships with animals bring up the circle of Life. Preschool kiddos witnessed 1st-hand the beginning via hatching chicken eggs and even seeing newborn kittens born up in their book loft. They also had to absorb and process death: death due to illness; due to circumstances; or due to old age and their resulting grief. I won’t lie, the kidlets often took it much, much better than Teacher Karen….
Preschool curriculum also included farm-related themes. So it should be 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!
Does your kiddo want to listen to the story? Email me at TeacherKaren@PlayAndGrow.com for the link. You’ll also get some learning activities for your little farmer to do!
Yours in Play!