Working on the land

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By Jean Evansearly years consultant and author

Discover the farming jobs associated with growing crops

Girl with blueberries

Field play

Set up a tuff spot or builder’s tray in your farm-play area and vary the content every few days to give new sensory experiences, for example, soil, compost, grass and bark chippings.

Provide the children with a selection of tools and small containers to fill and empty. Once they have investigated the contents of the tray with the tools and their hands, introduce small-world farm vehicles and farm workers to extend their imaginary play.

Hang up pictures of farmers busy working in the fields, carrying out activities such as driving tractors, using combine harvesters, sowing crops and picking potatoes. Display books about farm machinery and growing crops in the seating area.

Visit the farm-play area often to discuss the images on display and explore the books with the children. Encourage lots of use of language to describe sensory experiences and support the children’s play.

Suggested resources

Tuff spot or builder’s tray; soil; compost; leaves; bark chippings; artificial grass; small-world farm vehicles and people; tools for digging, raking and boring holes; different-sized buckets; books about farm machinery, for example, On the Farm by Philip Ardagh (Mighty Machines series, Belitha Press), Tremendous Tractors by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker (Amazing Machines series, Kingfisher Books).

1 Plough the fields

Create neatly ploughed furrows for the farmer

Knowledge and Understanding of the World

Exploration and Investigation

Development matters: learn by observation about actions and their effects (0-11 months); describe and talk about what they see (30-50 months).

Early learning goal: investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate.

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