Old MacDonald Had a Farm
But what KIND of farm did Old MacDonald have? Was it a farm that grew plants? Did he raise animals? Did he do both? Did he have fish, too? And trees? Did he have cows for milking? And did he have a farm stand to go with it?! Let’s find out!
Below are activities that all have a Farm theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity
For this activity, first you’ll need to know about the different types of farms. You will also want to grab some coloring materials and paper.
There are many different types of farms.
- Arable: Grow plants (fruit/veg/grain)
- Pastoral: Raise animals
- Dairy: Raise animals for milking (cows, goats)
- Orchard/Vineyard: Growing trees with fruit
- Tree Farm: Grow only trees to sell
- Fish Farm: Raise fish for sale
- Poultry Farm: Raise chickens for eggs or meat
- Apiary: Tend bees, get honey
- Mixed Farming: a combination of farming strategies; sometimes to feed the animals they raise.
- Draw your own farm! What type of farm would you have? What would you grow?
- What animals would you raise? What would you do with those animals? Will you use them for products they can give you (like milk, eggs, or wool) or for meat?
- Where would you store the animals? Design your barn. Would you have special locations for different animals?
- What will each animal eat? Where would you put their food? Usually, animal food is located separately from the animals (so they don’t munch on it when they’re not supposed to!)
- Animals usually graze in a pasture or move around the barnyard. Draw the area your animals will spend time when not in the barn.
Take a look at some fresh fruit and vegetables. Sort by color, size, or weight. Where are the seeds? Are they big, medium or small? Count how many there are – and sort again!
Think about what plants you can grow in Virginia and what plants you must get from other places. Bananas, avocados, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pineapples, jicama, cranberries are just a few. Where do they come from?
Taste test – which fruits and vegetables taste sweet? Sour? Savory? Which one do you like the best?
Revisit our Healthy Choices activities to see if you can make a Healthy Eating Plate!
Get some of those wiggles out while learning about the animals that might be found at a farm!
Act out the different animals as you listen.
Follow along with the Old MacDonald song – but wait for the silly animal!
Now that you’ve heard some silly Old MacDonald songs, what other silly animals would you probably not find at Old MacDonald’s farm? Can you add them to the song?
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- What are some local farms that you can visit? Where are they? What do they sell at their farm market? Have you been there before?
- What is your favorite fresh fruit and vegetable? Can you grow them yourself? Find out how and try!
Videos and Websites
- Ride on a tractor video
- Farm Sanctuary Live Webcam website
- Folly Farm Goat/Sheep Webcam website
- Dairy Farming for Kids website
Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:
- Charlotte’s Web
- Old Yeller
- Chicken Run
- The Adventures of Milo and Otis
- Home on the Range
- The Horse Whisperer
- The Biggest Little Farm
- Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
- Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown
- The Milk Makers by Gail Gibbons
- Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley
- The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone (though there are many versions! Pick your favorite!)
- The Little Yellow Chicken by Joy Cowley (Spoiler Alert: The Little Yellow Chicken is the grandson of the Little Red Hen!)
- Who’s Making That Mess? (Lift the Flap) by Jenny Tyler and Philip Hawthorn
- Big Pig on a Dig by Usborne Books
- Pig Gets Stuck by Judy Tatchell