G has been getting more and more into identifying animals and their sounds. Without much teaching, he has been able to make the sound of an elephant, a cat, and a lamb as well as point out numerous animals in books. Because he is showing such an interest, I figured there was no time like the present to begin teaching him all of the animal noises, features, and identifying factors. We started off by working on farm animals this week and the first thing on our agenda was getting to know all about pigs. The second animal on our list is a sheep – better known in our household as a lamb or lamby. Whatever it is that you call this animal, let’s get to teaching our kiddos all about sheep!
For starters, sheep are soft wooly animals with thick hair used for fleece and they provide us with meat for eating! Some other interesting facts include their amazing eyesight – they can see in about a 300 degree range which allows them to see behind themselves without turning their heads – and they can remember faces – up to 50 other sheep faces and some human ones, too! This stuff is awesome to know if you are teaching older kiddos but for toddlers we need to stick to the basics. Therefore, the overarching principle for today’s lesson was that sheep have soft fluffy fur, they are sheared for wool, they baa, and they live on a farm.
Our first activity was simply this: Sheep Farm Sensory Play. I tossed some grass clippings in a pan, added a little fence, a tractor, a silo, and of course…lots of sheep! We played with our lamby and the rest of the sheep herd as we talked about their grassy diet and their loud baa-s.
Next we used sticky contact paper to put wool on a lamb! I just sketched a quick lamb on a piece of paper, taped it to a cookie sheet, and then taped contact paper (sticky side up) to the top of the sheep drawing. All my toddler had to do was pick out cotton balls (or white pom-poms, if you prefer) and stick them on the paper. We had lots of fun doing this and he loved the sticky texture on his hands! Of course we chatted about soft and sticky feelings as well – had to get that sensory discussion in somewhere!
Once all of the wool was stuck in place, I squirted shaving cream on the top and gave G a wooden popsicle stick. Together we practiced shearing our sheep – well, I showed him once and then he needed no help after that! If you want something that’s taste safe, I recommend using cool whip. Just be prepared to get messy with this activity…seriously though, it’s worth it.
Finally, we added a little white lamb to our farming Felt Board. Then we practiced identifying objects. I would ask G to find the animals we’d talked about – sometimes by name, sometimes by sound, the tractor, the barn, etc. I seriously LOVE our felt activities and I love their cost!
My son went to bed successfully understanding what a lamb looked like, sounded like, and what they felt like! I’d say this easy all about sheep day was well worth it! Keep tabs on what farm animal we have coming up next by following us on Instagram!