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We are celebrating all things farming in our play this week. To kick start off the week we did a milking cows activity!
There are so many different learning opportunities when it comes to exploring farms. With such diverse related topics, farm theme play appeals to so many kids. Whether it is the machinery, animals, or earth that appeals to them, farm play presents such a broad range of themes.
What do farmers do first thing in the morning?
Your toddler will love to as well – they milk their cows!
Milking Cows with Your Toddler
Over breakfast and their bowls filled with cereal and milk, my children and I spoke about where milk comes from and how the milk gets from the cow to our fridge.
From there the discussion went to all the different things that are made from milk that we use all the time
We are certainly appreciating our bovine friends today and showing gratitude for the the efforts of those that make these dairy goods readily available to us!
What you need for your milking cows activity
- Rubber glove
- Bucket / bowl/ play tray
- Water proof play mat or towel (optional)
Setting up your cow
After cleaning up, I rummaged through my old beautician supplies and pulled out a glove.
A few splotches are drawn on with a sharpie and nicks in a few fingers and presto! We had our own cow to practice milking!
To start off our udderly fun (get it? Haha I’m hilarious!) activity, I filled the glove with water and held it over a bucket while Miss 4 and Miss 20m took turn squeezing the fingers aka teats. They loved it!
This is a great work out for the small muscle groups in their hands and fingers – hello fine motor skills!
Importance of fine motor skill development
With every squeeze, relax and squeeze, the small muscles in their hands and fingers get stronger!
Fine motor skills are so important for school readiness. Unfortuently, there are many children starting school without the basic skills required to complete tasks such as buttoning their shirt or using scissors. Fine motor skills are the core foundation of so many other skills.
This being said, fine motor skills are so easy to develop and strengthen through meaning play experiences – just like this one!
Once they got the knack of squeezing the water through the holes, I have them an additional challenge.
I asked Miss 4 to hold the glove while her sister milked the cow. They did really well! Miss 4 was patient with her sister and they took turns refilling the glove before the next person had a turn.
Once Miss 20m lost interest, Miss 4 continued by herself. Using one hand to hold the glove and the other to squeeze, this activity became one that helped build up her bilateral coordination skills. Using both sides of the body to complete a task is an important life skill!
All in all, this quick to set up activity was a success! Both the girls enjoyed it. I even got a “Thanks for this activity Mum, I’m really enjoying it!” from Miss 4.
My little farmers are excited for the week to come. Stay tuned for more farm fun to come!