barn with goat, rabbit, duck, pig and horses
The dramatic play center provides opportunities for students to collaborate, engage in learning, and build language skills through conversations. Children have the opportunity to role play real-life experiences by taking on many roles in imaginative play. Utilization of the space as a farm encourages students to think like a farmer and consider what he/she has to do to take care of the farm. This includes taking care of the animals and selling the produce at the farmer's market. Children engage in taking turns with peers and developing vocabulary through interactions with one another.
- fine motor skills while "milking" cow, buttoning shirts and handling money
- math skills with the calculation of costs of produce and exchange of money
- sorting of produce by color, size or type
- counting of produce
- writing opportunities to write name produce to purchase
- expression of artistic ability through drawing of food or animals
- print exposure to food and animals names with labels on items
- reading opportunities with exposure to variety of farm related books in center
- expression of feelings and emotions
- creativity, imagination, abstract thinking
- oral communication, vocabulary
- cooperation, sharing, taking turns
- stuffed animals and toy animals (horse, cow, pig, chicken, cat, dog, sheep)
- if possible, create pretend cow with latex free glove filled with water for children to "milk" the cow
- bucket for "milk"
- if possible, create pretend horse for students to pretend to ride
- play food for animals (carrot/apple for horse, straw/yellow yarn for cow to eat, etc.)
- cash register with play money
- baskets/other materials for produce to sit in and to carry the produce in
- play produce/food
- labels on produce containers with pictures and words to identify food (price can be optional)
- pretend soil (brown felt) and fake ivy/vines for produce to "grow"
- farmer hats, boots, plaid shirts
- grooming materials for animals (small towel, brush, etc.)
- writing utensils
- paper, clipboards, notepads
- reading materials - farm related books in center, including nonfiction and fiction
These guiding questions can be used to assist the teacher, instructional assistant, or parent volunteers in supporting children's development and learning during play.
- Why did you sort the food that way?
- How do you think that food grew and how did you (the farmer) get it?
- What do you need to do to take care of the animals on the farm?
- What will you do with the money you make from selling the produce?
This center can be set up with the following areas included: area to grow food (on ground, soil, etc.), farmer's market area with food for farmers to sell (labeled baskets, boxes or containers), area with larger play animals for children to interact with (if available) and cash register and telephone area for customers to pay for their produce. A basket/tote with books about farms should also be in the center for students to explore. In addition, supply writing prompt papers for customers to have the opportunity to write the type of produce they want to purchase and a drawing of the produce (see attached prompt). Also, encourage children to try roles of both the farmer and the shopper at the market.
This center should allow for enough space for at least three students to play with the furniture and props. The dramatic play center should be located in an area of the room that enables students to communicate without disrupting other children's work and play.
Many literature connections exist for this topic and can be read to students before introduction of the center or during learning of the theme of farm. These books can also be placed in the farm center for independent exploration by the children. The following are a few suggestions:
"Big Red Barn" by Margaret Wise Brown
"A Day of the Life of a Farmer" by Heather Adamson
"Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm" by Joy Cowley
"Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type" by Doreen Cronin
"Farming" by Gail Gibbons
"The Farm Alphabet Book" by Jane Miller
"Farm Animals" by Phoebe Dunn
"See How They Grow: Calf" by Mary Ling
"Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z" by Lois Ehlert
"The Little Lamb" by Phoebe Dunn
This is a center sign to be used at the farm.
This is writing prompt for writing and illustrating produce choices in the farm center.
Clip art from Pixabay.com