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Child Study Center

Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning & Development


After reading Down by the Barn the children moved the animals and the barns to the floor. They talked about the farmer pulling the little lever to drive the tractor. They moved the animals to the barns by tractor and proceeded to place them around the barn area and inside the barns. 

boy moving toy animals with toy tractor

girl arranging toy animals

They worked together to choose which barn they would go into and where they would be placed once they were inside the barn. Some of the animals stayed outside the barn to be fed or moved around.

children construct toy farmyard
After many configurations they decided to enclose the white blocks and make a complete fence for the animals. Some animals were placed inside the fence and others were on the outside. The silo was brought into play when the children became interested in feeding the animals that were in the fence. They pretended to bring the food from the silo to the animals.

children arranging toy animals

girl pretends to feed toy animals

With an interest in feeding the animals, the children went on a hunt for food that the animals would like to eat. They brought some animals from the barn area to home living and placed them on the table. They picked some food from the food baskets and placed it on the brown table mat. They placed the animals around the mat to “eat” some of the food and they also fed some of the animals by hand. They told the animals what they were eating and asked if they would like more.

deciding what food farm animals like


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