Tag Archive | farm animals

Down on the Farm

We have come to the end of the Farm Animals activity plan from Clever Clovers.  What better way to culminate all of our mooing, baaing and cock-a-doodle-dooing, than by visiting a farm!  The weather was a bit more frigid than anticipated and the pig pen was dismantled, but other than that, we had a lovely time!

On alternating Fridays I blog about our final activity (starring my twin babies)

This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Visit a farm, petting zoo or winter fair (where livestock is present)

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Cognitive, Gross Motor, Language, Social, Emotional

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 week

1. We had to drive about an hour to get there so when we were in the car, I was explaining to them that we were going to a farm, where they could walk around and see ducks and cows and sheep!  They were excited.

2. When we arrived, as we were walking towards the farm, I was saying, look!  There is the big, red barn.  (I’m not sure how much they heard because they saw a bunch of Canadian Geese and starting yelling “duck & quack, quack!”)…. LOL!  If you’re not familiar with our visit to feed the “ducks” a couple of weeks ago, click here.

Sitting outside of the big red barn
Sitting outside of the big red barn

Here are some pictures from our visit:

O was waving "hello"

Curious beings

O being brave with the "horse"

O being brave with the “horse”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M's favourite: Rooster (it wasn't even one of our weekly words, she picked it up through stories and such.

M’s fave: Rooster (it wasn’t one of our weekly words), she picked it up through stories.

Cock-a-doodle-doo!  The rooster is the only fowl that she doesn't refer to as a duck.

Cock-a-doodle-doo! The rooster is the only fowl that she doesn’t refer to as a duck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O spies some baby chicks.

O spies some baby chicks.

 

Quack, quack, M says (even though they are chickens)

Quack, quack, M says (even though they are hens)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M liked the cow but was tired and wanted to be carried.

M liked the cow but was tired and wanted to be carried.

 

M with the ducks (and other birds)

M with the ducks (and other birds)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So where are the videos you ask?  It seems that when I thought I was recording, I was not.  AND when I thought I was not recording, yup, you got it….I was.  So there’s a whole lot of feet and ground footage….I am pretty disappointed because there was so much excitement that I thought I was capturing.

I think taking children to a farm or petting zoo is a pretty common thing to do and obviously provides so much opportunity for exploration and learning.  But, because we have been learning about farm animals for two weeks, this outing was even more beneficial to learning.  That is, because the target language was needed/used in context (in a fun and natural way), this will help solidify their understanding.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

 

 

 

 

We Heart Pig

We are moving nicely through the Farm Animals Activity Plan from Clever Clovers.  The girls are enjoying themselves very much.  We have been watching Babe during our TV time and the girls have been so excited to see the animals interacting on the screen.  I can’t wait to take them to the farm! BTW…Friday’s post will be delayed because we have decided to visit the farm over the weekend as a family outing.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Toy Time: Find a toy sheep and play with it in such a way that you are taking care of it. For example, feed it, give it a bath, give it kisses and cuddles, etc.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Emotional Learning

Specific Skill: Being affectionate and nurturing

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 Week

1. Our warm up activity was singing, using the farm animal figurines as props.

2. We used our stuffed pig because I couldn’t find our stuffed sheep.  We also had a stuffed cat – (which often appears in farm related things so I thought we could use it, but M soon refused preferring a baby doll she had).  I explained to them that these are our babies and we have to take care of them and love them.  On their own accord they hugged and kissed the toys but after that, I came up with all the different ways to take care of our “babies” (except for the last).

M kissing and hugging the baby

M kissing and hugging the baby

 

  •  Brushing (hair and teeth)
O brushing the pig's teeth

O brushing the pig’s teeth

M brushing the baby's teeth

M brushing the baby’s teeth

O brushing the pig's hair

O brushing the pig’s hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Strolling
M taking the baby for a walk

M taking the baby for a walk

O takes the pig for a bumpy ride!

O takes the pig for a bumpy ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually O’s pig fell out and she ran over it saying “uh, oh, uh, oh”.  It was a good opportunity to say “ouch, the pig is hurt.  Can you help the pig?” After stepping on his head  3 times (accidentally; it was entangled in the stroller)  she eventually gave the pig a hug and kiss and placed it back in the stroller.

 

  • Feeding
O gives her pig some water

O gives her pig some water

....then she ran to give the baby water too (this seemed quite important to her)

….and to the baby too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had to keep reminding M that she was feeding the pig and not herself :0)

I had to keep reminding M that she was feeding the pig and not herself :0)

...she gives it a try!

…she gives it a try!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...a bit lower O, good try though!

…a bit lower O, good try though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Soothers (you can’t really see the soothers, their hands are covering them)
M shares the soother between them both

M shares the soother between two

O gives the pig a soother

O gives the pig a soother

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Bathing

This was interesting for a couple of reasons. First, I had a bit of a problem with O.  She kept taking M’s baby out of the bath which was turning into a bit of tug-o-war between the two of them.  I was saying “that’s not gentle” and all of that kind of stuff but what I finally came to realize (thanks to O’s persistence – albeit grumpy/screamy persistence) was that O was trying to take the baby’s clothes off for the bath!  How clever!  I didn’t even know that they came off.  Second, after the “bath” O pointed to the hand towel and then gestured toward the pig.  Other than the hugs and kisses at the beginning of the activity, this was the only time that they initiated some caring action toward the pig/baby (the rest of the ideas were mine – which is totally age appropriate so don’t worry if your baby does the same!)

M puts soap on the pig

M puts soap on the pig

O rinses the soap off using the cup

O rinses the soap off using the cup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O attempts to wrap the pig in the towel.

O attempts to wrap the pig in the towel

..a little help from Mom and the pig is dry & warm

..a little help from Mom and the pig is dry & warm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*This activity is a wonderful way to incorporate emotional learning into play.  It is imaginative play which they are beginning to understand and it helps them practice being gentle, nurturing and caring.  It was a very timely activity for us because they have started to argue with each other more and they have been throwing toys too.  The concepts and language used in this activity can be brought forth when I need to help them settle disagreements or explain to them why they should not throw their toys.

 

 

 

A Match Made in Farmland

Welcome back, I hope you all had a lovely weekend!  Today’s post in another topic I’ve been wanting to share; how to do puzzles with babies!

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Puzzles: Complete farm animal puzzles together.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Cognitive

Specific Skill: Matching

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months + 1 Week

1. Our warm up activity was signing, as usual, using the farm animal figurines as props.  They really like it and I’ve noticed they are trying to actually sing along more.  I hear the occasional word but it is mostly babbling with a kind of “singing” voice.  It’s nice to see this progression…..karaoke, here we come! (anybody who knows me, knows I love karaoke!)

2. The first thing I do with the puzzles is review the animals and sounds.  This can be helpful because even if your baby knows how to recognize all of the animals in one setting (ex. on tv, in real life, as toy figurines, etc.) the same animals in cartoon (in a book or a puzzle piece) might not fit the exact image they recognize. – They might look different to your baby.

3. My girls find puzzles challenging.  They need a lot of support to complete puzzles successfully so the first thing I do, is take away all the pieces.  Then I choose one, show it to the baby (while naming it) and ask the baby to find it on the puzzle board.  This makes the task as easy as possible because the baby only has one thing to try to do (find the animal that I asked).  After the baby finds the animal, then I give her the puzzle piece so that she can place it in.  If she needs help putting it in, I help with that too.  So cute – around 1:00 minute, if you listen closely, you’ll hear M say “cock-a-doodle-doo” to the picture of a rooster.

 

4. In case you are wondering why the above video only features M, it is because O either didn’t want to cooperate or genuinely couldn’t find what I was asking.  (It’s hard to tell with O because she is the kind of person who often doesn’t like to do things because she is being asked to).  There have been countless times where it seems like she doesn’t understand and then if I go away and come back, she will have it completed – with extra bells and whistles!……… then there are times where she actually doesn’t understand….so she keeps me on my toes, for sure.

Anyway, I included this video of O to show how to add more support if your baby is having difficulty.  First you will see me name the incorrect things she points to (I don’t just say no, I name it and ask again).  Next you will see that she is distracted by the other pieces, so I take those away.  After that, you will see me ask if she needs help (I tell her where it is).  And lastly, I help her place it in correctly.  With all of the support, she is able to complete the task and she is happy about it.

 

5. Here is another method I use to try to explain matching.  I put the puzzle pieces directly next to the spot where they need to be placed.  This is another technique you can use to offer support.

…..O had a bit of a meltdown because M was sitting on her hand, then M started crying and I decided it was time for a nap!

 

As they continue to grow and learn, I will gradually take away the support….and eventually I will move in the other direction to make puzzles even more challenging for them.  I hope this helps you!

 

 

 

Tube Talk

Today’s focus is cows!  (and moooooooooooo)!  We had a lot of fun doing this activity, it’s simple, and can take as little or as much time as you want (FAQ, question 5) .  On a different note, O seemed a bit annoyed by the cameras today and was reluctant to participate when I was filming/photographing….so the videos kind of center on M today.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Using some cardboard or plastic tubes, moo, baa, oink and quack into the tubes to amplify the sounds. Show and say the corresponding animal before, during and after tube talking.

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Language Development

Specific Skill: Experimenting with vocals

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months

1. Our warm up activity was singing the songs included in the lesson plan and I used farm animal figurines to play with as we sang.

M singings farm songs and plays with figurines

M sings farm songs and plays with figurines

2.  Next we got right into the activity.  I did consider decorating the tubes as an activity with them (with cow & other farm animal stickers and what-not) but I decided against it because I know my girls – that is,  I know they would have been focused on destroying them …a hem, I mean, age appropriately taking things apart ;0) …… or eating them….. which is exactly what happened.  I did however put duct-tape around the edges of the cardboard tube (to slow the process of eating) and around the edge of the plastic bottle to keep them safe from the sharp edge.  So they are not the prettiest things I’ve ever made, but they work just fine!

O eating/talking!

O eating/talking!

M tube talkin'

M tube talkin’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Videos:

1. Reviewing cows and mooing.  Introducing the tubes and how to use them.  Giving it a try!

 

2. Moving on to different animals.  I ask them to find a pig.  M disappears but the pig is right under O’s nose so I continue to encourage O to find the pig…watch what happens.

I included the little bit at the end to show how using a sound (if you have it available) can be used as an aid.

 

**When we were finished with the animals they still wanted to play so we tried making different sounds or saying other words they know.  I think this activity is great for encouraging experimentation with their vocals which will lead to singing!

Try it out with your little one and let me know how it goes!

 

If It Looks Like A Duck and Walks Like A Duck…..(we’ll call it a duck, even if it’s not)

Okay, so we’re moving on to the Clever Clovers Farm Animals activity plan.  Today is all about ducks!  My girls are pretty familiar with ducks already (one of their favourite books from birth was a book about ducks that makes a quacking sound).  I also feel like I didn’t document this activity very well with relevant videos and pics.  It was bit difficult to keep them together, off the ice and video and take photos and push the stroller and answer everybody’s questions about twins who wanted to stop and talk to them and….. you get the picture.

Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)

 This week’s Theme: Farm Animals

Activity Description: Outdoor Activity: Go for a walk in your local park and feed the ducks

This Activity’s Main Area of  Development: Social Learning

Specific Skill: Caring for others in your community

O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 17 months

1. Our warm up activity was done in the car; we sang Old Macdonald and I explained to them that we were going to go to the park and they could walk around and that we have some food to feed the ducks because they are hungry.  I knew quite well that they understood because when we got there and I opened the car door M was shouting “duck” and when I tried to put O in the stroller, a tantrum ensued (I had said that they could walk).  I had to explain to her that she could walk around after we got to the duck pond….

2. In this lovely park where we take walks regularly, there is a pond that is ALWAYS FULL of ducks (even in the winter).  Hmm….well, we went there today full  of excitement and there were no ducks to be found!!!!  But there were geese, which the girls referred to as ducks, so I just went with it.  I don’t think it matters at this point if they know the difference between a duck and a goose.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
O pointing at the “ducks”

3. So, um,….. the activity was to feed the ducks…. but there were no ducks and we didn’t feed these geese because I have seen them be quite aggressive……..unsuccessful activity?  NO WAY!  It is important as a teacher and parent to be flexible; work with what is presented to you in each moment.

4. They were so excited to see the “ducks” and explore their surroundings.  It was amazing for me to watch them seek and discover things.  Social learning at its best……..

Here are the words I heard them using:

  • duck
  • quack
  • water
  • Wow!
  • hello & bye bye (to passers-by)
  • dog (there were several dog-walkers)
  • and of course…uh, oh

Here are the new words I was able to introduce in context (as a result of our surroundings):

  • fly/flying
  • wings
  • sky
  • ice
  • dirt
  • bicycle (there were a few cyclists)

Here are some other things I saw them do:

  • explore textures with their hands and feet (touching the mud, dirt & gravel, and seeing what it is like to walk on them)
  • actively look for the “ducks” (through fences, trees, up in the sky, etc.)
  • react to and recognize sounds (barking, various birds)
  • interact with other people
  • communicate with me and each other about what they were experiencing
  • Oh, and at one point M was attempting to count the “ducks”  (just amazing, I thought to myself, with a smile)
M watching the "ducks"

M watching the “ducks”

M enjoying herself

M enjoying herself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of small videos to help illustrate our adventures today:

1.  The video below will demonstrate how to add language to what your baby expresses an interest in.  In this case, they hear and notice a bird flying through the sky.  So I put words to what they are experiencing.

Your baby will notice and take interest in so many things each day, narrating what they are experiencing and feeling is a wonderful way for you to acknowledge their communication and to teach them language.

 

2. This next video shows general interaction.  I acknowledge and put words to what O is trying to express when she says “uh oh” and I try to get them to use the focused language (duck, quack) in context (to their experience).

The way you hear me speak to them is not exactly how I would normally communicate.  I slow my speech slightly, I annunciate more and I use words they are more familiar with.  It may seem like a lot of work but it is just a habit.  Get into the habit of communicating with your baby in this way and you won’t even need to think about it, it will come naturally.

 

Leave a comment to tell me about your attempts to communicate this way (& the outcome, of course!)