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Old MacDonald’s farm

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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Create free-flow indoor and outdoor farm role-play opportunities

Boy with tractor

Role-play farmhouse

Transform your indoor home area into a cosy farmhouse kitchen for Old MacDonald.

Create an open fireplace on one wall using brightly-coloured paper, and put some comfortable chairs at either side. Introduce soft toy dogs and cats and hang pictures of farmyard scenes on the walls. Place farmhouse cookery books in the area.

Develop the outdoor area to include fenced areas with gates and animal shelters so that the children can pretend to be animals, or care for soft toy animals.

Encourage free-flow play as much as possible so that the children can get dressed to go outside and work on the farm, then return indoors to eat, relax and sleep.

Be ready to introduce new resources that the children suggest, for example, they may decide to call for the vet. Involve parents by asking them to supply suitable items to develop the children’s farm-play scenarios.

Initially, interact with the children to encourage full use of both the indoor and outdoor scenarios, and join them at intervals to support the direction of their play.

Suggested resources

Indoors: dressing-up clothes for farmers and their families; resources for the farmhouse such as cooking utensils and furniture; farmhouse cookery books; red, yellow and black paper; books about farm animals such as Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins (Lift-the-Flap Books, Egmont); posters and pictures showing a variety of farms; farming magazines. Outdoors: free-standing fences or benches; crates, barrels and boxes; soft toy farm animals; ride-on toy farm vehicles.

1 Feeding the lambs

Take care of newborn lambs in the farmhouse kitchen

Communication, Language and Literacy

Language for Thinking

Development matters: use talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next (30-50 months); begin to use talk to pretend imaginary situations (40-60+ months).

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Reviews

  1. Davinia
    on 13 March 2010

    0-3s

    From the very start children seem to relate to farm animals or have done in my setting.So easy to use this resource to reach all areas of learning.Thank you very much for this resource we are really looking forward to using it!

    5out of 5