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Farm Science Ideas


Examine Feathers

If you can obtain some feathers, allow your children to examine the
 feathers with a magnifying glass.  You can purchase some at craft stores. 

Floating Feathers

Allow the children to put feathers in a bucket of water to see if they float.


Homemade Butter

Per child you will need one baby food jar, clean marble, one Tablespoon of heavy
 cream or whipping cream.  You may desire a pinch of salt and a drop of yellow food
coloring too.  Turn on some fast tempo music and begin shaking  The butter
will form a ball in the jar.  Pour off the buttermilk and serve the butter
on small pieces of toast or crackers.  Children can also sample the buttermilk.

For a little variation, add honey or sugar &  cinnamon to your butter.

To speed up the process you can add a marble to the jar when shaking.


Cow Milking

Position two chairs facing one another.  Place a broomstick or dowel rod between chairs.
  The broomstick or dowel should be at child's eye level when the child is seated.
  Secure stick with yarn or rope.  To make chairs look like cow, make a cow face and
 tail out of construction paper and yarn.  Fasten them to opposite chair backs.
  Fill the rubber glove with powdered milk solution.  Do not fill to the top; allow room
 to close the top of the glove (secure tightly with heavy rubber bands.)
  Attach glove to center of stick with heavy rubber bands so it has some bounce.
  Carefully put small pinholes in fingers of glove.  NOTE:  This step may be delayed
 until the lesson is ready for presentation.  Place yellow and brown tissue strips
 on the floor to simulate barn floor.  More than one cow may be needed, based on class size.
  Tell children it's early morning and it's time to milk the cow.  Put on a straw hat,
 pickup the stool and bucket, and say the farmer needs the bucket to catch the milk
 and the stool to sit on. Go into the "barn" area to the "cow."  Sit on the stool,
 placing the bucket beneath the "udders."  Gently squeeze a squirt of "milk" into the bucket.
 Have children take turns playing the farmer.


Dairy Products

List products made from milk. List each item on a paper with a pic and the word
 YES and NO next to the item. Ask children to taste each item and circle YES or NO
 if they liked each item or not. (HOMEWORK IDEA: Ask each child
 to bring in a food product made from milk and then do this activity.)


What Happens When You Shake Cream?

Before you begin this experiment, discuss the terms observation, solid, and
liquid with the children.  Also, explain that milk comes from a cow and cream is part of milk. 
 Seat the children in a circle.  Pour 1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream (not ultra pasteurized)
 into a plastic container with a tight fitting lid.  Prepare an observation chart and note
 on it the color and consistency of the cream (white liquid).  Have each child shake
 the container a few times and then pass it around the circle.  After the container has
 been passed around the circle one more time, open it and observe.  Note changes
 on the chart (bubbles, thicker).  Keep passing the container around the circle for each
 child to shake.  Keep opening it to observe changes.  Record the changes on the chart.
  Ask the children the following questions.  How does it sound when you shake it?
  What does it look like?  What color is it?  Is it a liquid or a solid?  The changes
 will go from cream to whipped cream to butter; from white to yellowish;
from liquid to solid to solid to liquid (butter and whey).  Note all
the changes on the chart so that you can read it with the children. 


Milking a Cow

Have a local farmer bring a cow to the school and tell the
 children all about it. Let the children take turns milking the cow.



Grow a Carrot

Select a carrot that still has green leaves and stems attached.
  Cut the carrot about two inches from the top.  Cut off all the wilted leaves
 and trim the stems back to one inch.  Place the carrot top in  a shallow
 bowl with the cut end down.  Place pebbles around the carrot and then
 fill the bow half full of water.  Set the bowl in a sunny window.  New sprouts will appear in
 about a week.  Once the carrot has sprouted, plant it in some soil and enjoy watching it grow!

Playground Garden

Set aside an area of the playground for a garden.  Let your children dig in the dirt.
  Help them plant flowers and vegetables (radishes, carrots, and lettuce grow quickly). 
 Provide watering pots so they can help water the seeds and plants.  If you don't have space
 on the playground, let your children plant seeds in long window boxes placed on the ground.


Duck Feathers

Ducks love to swim even in cold weather.  Their feathers are special to help them float
 and stay warm and even fly quickly away if they need to. Try this experiment. It can be
 done at Circle time or in a center.  Provide a piece of wax paper and a piece of paper
 towel and a glass of water  and eye dropper. Have the child drop water on both pieces
 of paper. Ask how  can we dry these off? The water has beaded up on the wax paper so
 it's easy  to blot up. Explain ducks feathers are like wax paper the
 water will bead up and then they can shake it off.


Duck Feathers II

Collect Duck feathers from the local park or petting zoo. Show your children how the feathers
 repel water by putting them on the table and squirting a small amount of water on them


Duck Body Parts

Show the children pictures of Duck body parts (bill, wing, webbed feet, and feathers.)


Float & Sink

Make two laminated charts, each with a blue water line.  On one chart, draw a picture of a duck
 on top of the water. On the other, draw a picture of an anchor under the water.  Children put
 items in a tub of water to see if they sink or float and then place them on the appropriate chart.


Horse Food

Bring in and discuss the types of food horses eat.  Compare the types
 (grain, alfalfa, hay, apples, carrots) to the nutrition of the basic food groups.
 Which horse food acts as human dairy or meat groups?


Sheep Wool

Place various types of wool on a table for the children to observe.  Included may be wool clippings,
 lanolin, dyed yarn, yarn spun into thread, wool cloth, wool articles, such as mittens and socks.

I bring in several different types of wool for the children to feel the differences. Each breed of sheep
 produces wool that may be softer, coarser, crimpy etc. There are also naturally colored sheep.
 The children usually think of sheep as white. It is a very tactile experience for them. I also expose
 them to different type of fur, rabbit, mink etc (anything that I can get as a comparison).
 Make the connection between sheep, wool, yarn and sweaters. There are books about taking
 the fleece and ending up with a sweater. I brought raw wool into the class, they had to hand card it,
 then spin it, then knit it ( had lots of help with these steps). They realized that it took
 lots of work to make 1 garment. (it helps that i spin and have these resources handy)


Wool & Feathers

Add wool and feathers to your sensory table during your farm theme.


What Lambs Eat

Another thing that we do is put toy lambs in the sensory table with real  vegetables, etc.
 that they may eat.  The children loved to have the lambs eat  the food.


Planting Seeds

Let children plant vegetable seeds or grass seed in milk cartons.


Muddy Feet

We made some mud in a large under the bed Rubbermaid storage unit and had
the kids walk barefoot thru it while holding our hands.  They were to walk
across the length of the tub squishing it between their toes and explaining
how it felt to them.


How Cows Give Us Milk

Discuss how cows give us milk.  Take the children on a field trip
to a dairy farm so they can get hands on experience milking a cow.



Pre-K Fun Theme Pages are for educational reference only! 
No copyright infringement is intended.
I do not claim any of these as my own ideas.  
They are shared from friends and fellow group members.  
Thanks for sharing all your great ideas!


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