This year Z is doing most of his fun-fall learning at his P-5 (5 day preschool). As he shares about leaves, pumpkins and scarecrow activities, crafts, songs, and snacks my mind goes back to his at home preschool learning a year ago. Last year I shared part 1 of Z’s: “farm and fall” preschool themed activities.
A year later I am reminiscing at how much Z has grown and changed, but also hoping the timing for sharing part 2 might spark creativity for those of you doing at home learning or looking for fall activities to do at home.
Our fourth week of the “Farm and Fall” theme was all about tractors For our sensory bin I put corn meal in with farm animals and a mini-toy John Deere tractor set. Z loved the new tractor toy set.
To work on the concept of time, I created my own time game using a farm themed playmat, Z’s toy tractor, and a few game props and animals. Z drew a card from a bag that had written on it the time of day in digital format, he had to match that to his clock puzzle then do the action required for the time. Such as: 1:00pm feed the piggies. We had lots of fun playing out the farm scenarios all around the clock.
Z did some tractor art including a popsicle stick red tractor with button wheels, a T for Tractor puzzle made out of Ts and constructing a 3D tractor using paper, tape, scissors and folding techniques.
Z also loved drawing tractor tracts (using pudding) on paper .
We also did some tractor mud fun outside and washed them off inside later.
Tying into the letter and number concept, we played another tractor game. Z had to roll a number and pull out a card from a bag with a letter on it : C, P, A, or H. He then had to move that many of the produce that connected to the letter to the barn on his mat with his toy tractor. Ror example 1 corn or cherry, 4 pumpkins, pears or plums 3 apples, and/or 2 hay. I used candy corn pumpkin, game piece fruit (from orchard), pom poms, and straw in bundles tied by rubber bands.
Z loved going over the parts of a tractor and looking at Dad’s tractor manual (the pages with outlines and pictures) of how the machine worked and about the attachments. We read several Tractor Mac books and even found a special that read two Tractor Mac books and taught about the parts of a both modern and more older tractors.
Week number five was about farm animals . For our sensory bin we had dried corn feed, we kept the animals, put out fencing, and added some feeding ideas for the animals. On day one we focused on chickens and eggs.
We did a egg/chick craft where we drew a chick on construction paper. Cut out an egg, covered the chick with the egg with glue. When it dried we helped the chick hatch from the egg.
We explored eggs, labeling their different parts, seeing if they would sink or float raw or cooked etc.
For snack we made haystacks/birds nest; a fall staple for our house that often rolls right into a Christmas treat as well so we made plenty for the season to enjoy and give away later (win-win).
I took some ideas from Easter activities pulling out silk Easter chicks and eggs to sort based on how many of what color of chicks were found in the eggs hiding around the house.
We played another great game; using our outdoor pool, I filled it with hay and hid in it our small plastic farm animals. Z then had to find them all by their initial letter sound (C covers a few). We did this again the next day but with rolling a dice and finding the right number of animals (or how many of each kind).
The next day we focused on cows and milk. For our craft we made a cow bell out of a paper cup, a bell, and a pipe cleaner , we were going to do a hand print cow too but Z didn’t seem interested. We worked on our patterns, and structures using colored Popsicle sticks to make patterned fences and barn. We learned about how cows are milked and the types of products that dairy provides us with. Z was fascinated by the milking machines and had a ton of questions about them.
We pretended to milk a cow by filling up a latex glove with milk, then I tied it off and poked small holes at the bottom (the fingers). We hung it from the bottom of a chair and put a bowl underneath. Z enjoyed the activity but struggle with patience to really get the hang of it.
We also enjoyed working on our barn floor puzzle, reading books about barns, practicing our structures with our barn blocks, and doing farm sticker books and painting.
The last week of our farm and fall theme was based off of Thanksgiving and Turkeys. For our sensory bin I had out gourds, dried corn, pretend leafs, pine cones, and pretend acorns.
The first day we focused on the history, culture, and tradition of Thanksgiving. We watched the Charlie Brown mayflower. For craft we did corn process art, rolling the corn in paint and seeing what patterns it made. We also made pilgrim and native feather hats. Z was very proud of his elaborate button and feather patterns.
We tried our hand at making boats that float out of egg cartons, straws, and paper sails and tried bow hunting with qtips, floss, and popsicle sticks (I found this one hard).
For snack we used peanut butter and stick pretzels to make log cabins and reeses peanut butter cups and pieces to make pilgrim hats.
We used mops, Z’s paracord and sheets to make our own teepee inside the house and used Z’s pillow logs to try to make a pretend fire.
The next day we focused on turkey and modern thanksgiving. We watched the modern charlie brown special (when I say modern I mean not mayflower-still a classic). We did several crafts including making the oh so well used turkey hand print, and we used pipe cleaners to make turkey feet that we stamped all over paper.
We also made turkey clothes pins for our math activity. We “raced” turkeys down a numbered (1-10) strip of paper based on dice rolls. Z enjoyed the game and basic addition it required.
We tried to make different structures and shapes with cranberries as the points and toothpicks the lines. We played sink or float with most of the objects we had out in the sensory bin.
We made cranberry sauce from scratch (prepping for Thanksgiving can be part of school too). We used colored pretend feathers to race with turkey basters across the table, and to practice fine motor skills in a colander to (decorate) the turkey.
We fed the water bottle turkey with dried corn and cranberries using our fingers and pincers as well as a fine motor skill. We read books about thanksgiving and thankfulness (and some silly turkeys as well).
We also started a new tradition of a thankful pumpkin. Each day of November we asked Z to share one thing he was thankful for, I would write it down on the pumpkin. It got more challenging the further into the month we went, but with a little help we were able to surround the pumpkin in words of what we are thankful for.
Hope you find some of these activities helpful . . . or enjoyed looking back at Z a year ago. etc.
More about our activities this fall (2021) to come!