Our theme started off with a Friday field trip to a local farm museum that welcomes guests for guided tours or just to explore independently throughout the year. We got to pet and feed sheep, meet the cows and pigs and donkeys and even try out some old fashioned tools to cut and chop wood! We could not have asked for a more perfect way to begin our activities this week. I spent many evenings last week and much of Sunday plotting, planning and preparing for a lot of ways to play and learn this week, and I think I might be more excited than even the boys! Join us on our trek back in time as we...
- explore farm animals through songs, sensory play, art and dramatic play
- open our own General Store
- try our hands at doll making in a variety of ways
- engage in some creative Little House Building
- hand dye our own fabric
- test out some old fashioned, tasty treats in the kitchen
- get moving with some old time tunes
- play and learn about work on the farm during the Pioneers' days
Feel free to try some or all of the activities at home. We likely won't get to everything I have planned (and I can't stop myself!) right now and that's OK. These activities are ones we will surely enjoy and probably revisit over the course of the year.
Since both boys especially loved seeing, petting and even feeding the sheep on the farm last week, I thought we'd start off the week with an opportunity to explore one of these creatures greatest gifts, wool!
My boys have seen me knitting and needle felting and even helped me pick out yarn at the store, but neither one has ever seen how that yarn came to arrive on the store shelf. As a needle-felter, I have a stash of sheep's wool roving on hand and thought this would be the perfect addition to our sensory table! I headed over to the Dollar Tree to pick up a couple of dog brushes and hair brushes for the boys to use to try carding wool. I can actually remember visiting a museum as a little girl that had a similar setup in an exhibit and loving the experience! I set out a basket of un-dyed wool roving, a few different sets of brushes, a ball of white yarn to see "the finished product" and Google image searched for some photos to show to steps involved from sheep to wool to yarn. With a couple of our favorite plush sheep to keep company while we worked, the boys (even Tatty) were ready to try their hands at carding wool! S was a little confused at first that our wool wasn't "string" yet after he was busy brushing for a while. He even went back to the metal ring of photo cards to see what steps he might be missing! Then I explained, with the help of our photos, that we were only practicing the process of smoothing the wool by carding and that we'd need special tools like a spinning wheel or drop spindle to actually make yarn. He may have been a little disappointed that we didn't have the tools to finish the job, but perhaps we will find a video or local demonstration for him to see.
Both S and Y had fun this morning making some woolly sheep decorations to hang in our window. I prepped this simple activity by cutting the shape of a sheep's body out of clear contact paper and adding black construction paper legs and head with some clear tape on the back. I removed the backing from the contact paper, sticky side up, and the boys were able to stick on cotton balls for wool. Y piled them high and deep and S enjoyed stretching a few across the sticky contact paper.
It's another rainy start to the week here, but this play theme is one that is just as much fun to explore indoors as outside. We'll be back soon with some more old fashioned fun on the farm. Until then...