This morning we went to the farm... so we thought we'd do some farm animal activities this afternoon. I asked my little guy which animal was his favorite at the farm today. He said COWS! We've enjoyed reading CLICK, CLACK, MOO: Cows That Type this week, so I should've guessed we'd be doing a cow project first.
We made a spotted paper plate cow. This could easily be turned into a cow mask to help you reenact Click, Clack, Moo. Enjoy!
Materials Needed: two paper plates, sheet of pink foam, black and yellow paint, paintbrush, white and black paper, black sharpie, scissors, and tape.
1. Have your toddler paint black dots on the back of a paper plate (white side).
2. While your toddler paints, trace a bowl to make a circle on the piece of pink foam. Draw two nostrils and a mouth on the foam (looks like a big smiley face).
3. Cut out the circle.
4. Next, wash your toddler's brush and then give him another paper plate. This time have him paint the entire paper plate yellow.
5. Have him take a break from painting to put two black thumb prints on a piece of white paper. I held my son's fingers and pressed for him. Older kids could probably do this on their own. Wash his thumbs when you're done!
6. Draw eyes and eyelashes around the thumbprints to make the cow's eyes.
7. Start assembling the cow. Your toddler will probably still be painting the yellow paper plate. I used double-sided tape to stick these pieces on.
8. Cut out two ears out of black paper and tape them on.
9. Read Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type while your toddler's yellow paper plate dries.
10. Once the yellow paint dries, cut out two horns from the yellow paper plate.
11. Tape the horns to the cow's head.
12. Put your cow face on and say "MOOO!" Reenact Click, Clack, Moo: Cow's That Type.
We've also been loving Moo, Baa, La La La! by Sandra Boynton. It is silly, has very simple pictures and language, and is a fun way to review animal sounds.
One of my favorite ways to teach new vocabulary words is to get OUT OF THE HOUSE and go somewhere new... or at least somewhere we haven't been in a week or two. New places provide for easy opportunities to teach new words. Inviting a friend along is even better because you can work with your child on simple social skills like taking turns, greeting friends, and sharing. After we go on trips, I love to do an activity to build on what we talked about. One of the easiest ways we do this is by taking LOTS of pictures and then uploading them to our computer in an album and playing them as an iPhoto slideshow. Most photo programs have a similar way to show pictures.
Not only does every child love to see their own pictures on the computer, but sitting and watching the slideshow with your child and talking about what you see and what you did can help reteach vocabulary as well as teach comprehension and sequencing.
During our cow craft activity we made a lot of connections back to our farm trip by talking about what we saw at the farm, what the cows we saw looked like, who we went to the farm with, etc. We also read two stories about cows which helped us learn even more new words. By reenacting the cow story with our cow mask, we also built on our understanding of the story and strengthened comprehension and sequencing skills.