My immediate family has always lived in the greater suburbs of Colorado, but whenever we visited my dad’s family in Michigan, the red barn stood out like a majestic symbol on my grandparents’ property. A run-down tractor, tools, some cobwebs, but full of the memories of generations that have stepped into it. I remember playing hide-and-seek with my cousins, sitting in a circle playing Truth or Dare, and swinging on the tree swing just outside of the barn. But what I remember most is the feeling. Every time I see that barn, I am filled with a sense of adventure and thrill. I hope that these farm math activities can also bring about similar feelings. Of course, our preschoolers probably won’t remember them as the years pass. But maybe, just maybe, they will remember the feeling of excitement that learning can bring.
Farm Lesson plans
Counting Sensory Bin
I haven’t had much experience feeding farm animals. I have always been a suburbia girl (Is that a thing?). But I did, in fact, feed giraffes at our local zoo, and the most bizarre thing happened. We were feeding them lettuce, watching their long, black tongues twirl around each leaf, which is crazy enough in itself. But then I looked up and saw a giraffe lean down, snatch a zoo map right out of someone’s hand, and gobble it right up. I mean, literally no hesitation. All that mindful eating practice just tossed to the wind. I feel ya, giraffe.
Anyway, back to farm animals. This is absolutely the best activity! My kiddos love these scoop and count activities. They will gobble them up just like that giraffe did to the zoo map. I just attached the animals’ heads to circular plastic containers, but this could also be done with tin cans, plastic cups, tubs, etc. Then, draw a card and scoop the matching number of corn into each animal’s mouth. Full of counting, sensory experiences, and fun!
Collect the Eggs
Visual Perception Activity
I have no shame in admitting that one of my favorite things to do (even as an adult) is go on an Easter egg hunt. In fact, my girls and I will hide eggs for each other to find when we are playing together. So between our little Easter egg hunts and all of the activities that incorporate eggs, these colorful eggs get a lot of use!
For this next activity, we pretended to be farmers collecting the eggs from the chicken coop. I added in a nest and a chicken stuffed animal to add in some extra excitement. Just cut an egg carton in half so that there are six wells for eggs. Then, have your students find the matching color of the egg in the hen’s nest and place it in the egg carton in the coordinating spot.
These types of visual perception tasks are extremely important. Visual perception is the process of our brain interpreting what we see in order to process it. This will help in so many ways in the future:
So as you plan out your week, don’t forget to incorporate puzzles, mazes, memory games, and activities like Collect the Eggs.
I can vividly remember running down the street after a rainstorm, desperately trying to reach the end of the rainbow as a kid. If only I could get my hands on that pot of gold, things would be so much better. I have to say it was a huge disappointment to find out that I would never reach it, never get that pot of gold, and never be able to get what my heart most desperately desired. Little did my childish heart know that no amount of gold can buy what everyone most desires: happiness. Happiness is not found in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but in the thrill and joys of the chase. As you go through your day-to-day routines, stop, breathe, and experience the joy in each moment.
While we are on the subject of chasing rainbows, this next farm math activity incorporates racing rainbow farm counters from one side of a gameboard to the next. This game can be played as a single-player or with two players. Roll a numbered die and a colored die to see which animal to move, counting along the way. The first three animals to finish get to stand on the Winner’s Platform. Such a great way to include ordinal numbers alongside counting, numeral identification, and color identification.
This game can be used with any rainbow counters. Check it out here!
Shear the Sheep
Ten Frame Game
It’s a-baa-out time for “shear” fun! We practice counting every single day, so it is always nice to switch it up and play a game that incorporates those skills in a new way. To set up this two-player game of Shear the Sheep, place 20-30 cotton balls on each of the two large sheep. Then, draw a card, count the number of cotton balls or pompoms, and use clothespins to “shear” the matching amount off of your sheep. The first player to completely “shear” their sheep wins! Easy to set up and fun for kids to play! Plus, incorporating those ten frames when possible helps with subitizing, the ability to quickly identify an amount without counting.
Shape Construction Farm Math Activities
There is something so freeing about riding horses. On our honeymoon in Ireland, we rode horses along the Dingle Peninsula, and I will never forget the breathtaking view over the ocean. I will also never forget the sound of my littlest one whinnying as she plays with her horses. I’ve included it in the video preview of this resource, so if you want to hear some cuteness, head over to Teachers Pay Teachers and click on the video. 🙂
To help reinforce the shape of shapes, we built horse corrals for our horses to trot around. Just use blocks or popsicle sticks as your fences. The mini popsicle sticks and the standard popsicle sticks fit right on top of the mats! Then, your students can count how many short and long sticks were used and record the number on the bottom of the page. Can’t write numbers? Use magnets! These cards can also be used with beads or erasers by laying them on top of the cards along the perimeter of the shape. The best part is finding the horse that is shaped just like the corral to put in the center!
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It is my hope that we as teachers can instill a love of learning in our children. This way, they become independent thinkers and problem-solvers as adults. Hopefully, some of these farm math activities can bring about that love of learning in your kiddos, too!
I want you to be extremely satisfied with these activities, so if anything is not 5 stars, please feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to improve or add anything you need.
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