Well, our themed activities are going really well and seem to be really well received so far. Coming up with themes for occupational therapy sessions is key in organization and strategizing OT activities for every child on your caseload. So far, I’ve shared OT themes for apple activities and back-to-school activities. My hope is that these farm activities keep you on track for a successful school year. So when it comes to farm activities, you are going to love these farm animal ideas, farm gross motor activities, farm crafts, and other farm theme ideas!
These can be farm animal activities for preschoolers, or on up through the grade schools. I’ve tried to create a list of themed activities that cover various skills areas.
This barn craft is fun because kids can make a barn using craft sticks but also farm animal puppets. They can work on cutting, pasting, and following directions to make these farm crafts, but that’s not all. Then, use the farm animal puppets and the barn craft in an imagination play activity with this little farm puppet show! You can also use the farm animal craft sticks as a spacing tool in handwriting or a visual processing activity for working on convergence, tracking, and more. This craft comes with a free printable page that kids can color, too. Hello, small motor dexterity for pencil control!
Hang onto that barn craft, because you can use it again and again for other farm activities. This Farm Fingerprint art activity uses the barn craft for counting, adding, and subtracting, but it’s a fantastic visual closure, visual tracking, and visual scanning activity, too. And, when you make fingerprint art, those fine motor skills are at work, too. Fingerprint art builds finger isolation, separation of the sides of the hand, and precision. Then, take it a step further and add details to the fingerprints, making it a pencil control and dexterity activity with cute results!
Every farm has a scarecrow, right? Use this scarecrow craft to work on scissor skills, direction following, problem solving, and even fine motor strength (a crumbled paper hat makes the scarecrow look very authentic!) We used this scarecrow for math facts and pre-algebraic equations, but you could add any learning or writing concepts to this smarty pants scarecrow craft!
Sheep craft– great for tactile sensory experience and fine motor work.
Farm Sensory Activities
This duckling sensory activity is a fun way to explore the senses with a popular and classic children’s book.
This farm sensory activity used what we had on hand: shredded paper! It was a snowy farm theme, so playing in that textured bin was a fun tactile challenge, but it was also an exercise in visual discrimination, visual closure, and other visual processing skills. We used sight words and found them in the snowy farm yard as the farm animals hid and played. Extend this activity to write out the words after they are found. This farm yard activity would work for letter identification and letter discrimination as well as words or numbers. So many fun ways to play at the farm!
Farm Fine Motor Activities
This Farm Play Dough Sensory Bin is very simple to set up. All you’ll need is play dough and a small tray, or even a plate. Kids can work on those fine motor skills and hand strength to spread the play dough out on a tray. Spreading out the dough on a plate or other surface strengthens the hands but offers manipulation opportunities for finger isolation, which is needed for pencil grasp and endurance in writing. Add some farm animal figures for pretend play. Pressing the animal feet into the play dough is an opportunity to build intrinsic hand strength in the arches of the hands. Here are more hand strengthening activities that you may also enjoy.
Farm Gross Motor Activities
These Farm Brain Breaks can add movement and gross motor input to a child’s day and fit in great with a farm animal theme. Print off the cards and use them in the classroom or home.
These heavy work cards includes a set of 8 farm themed heavy work activities that can be used as a brain break or added proprioceptive input.
Farm Books for Kids
Some of the farm books that we have used in the past inspired activities listed above. These include our Little Blue Truck brain breaks activity and the Big Red Barn craft that we shared above. Additional farm books for kids that can inspire movement, crafts, and sensory play include:
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Pete the Cat Old McDonald had a Farm– Use the animals in the book to work on fine motor and scissor skills by cutting shapes and turning them into farm animals.
Cows Can Moo, Can You?– This Dr. Seuss Book is a fun way to work on auditory processing and quiet/loud sounds with kids.
Goodnight Tractor– Part of the “goodnight” series, this is a great calm-down book to work on self-regulation with calming strategies.
The Farm Book– Therapists love this book for eliciting communication by language, vocabulary opportunities, and practicing sounds. Use the book for copying, teamwork, and problem solving.
Sheep in a Jeep– This is such a fun book! Pair the book with this sheep craft for fine motor work and sensory play.
Farm Theme Scissor Skills
Get these free farm theme scissor skills cutting strips and cutting shapes. Print off these cutting worksheets and use them to work on scissor skills, accuracy, precision, and bilateral coordination as they cut varying degrees of line thicknesses and simple geometric shapes.
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.