Toddler Lessons…Making the Most of their “Spongy Period”: the farm

My son’s first word was tractor, he loves them. We’re fortunate to live in the country and be surrounded by them and my son loves to watch them working in the fields and wave as they go by.

It started that everything was a tractor and it gradually expanded to more specific types such as a digger, grater, bulldozer. With them all working in the fields haying, we decided to expand it even further.


When we drive into town my son now points out the Canola fields and the farmer’s fields. We’ve been talking about bailers and how they cut the grass and take hay bails out of it for the horses to eat.

As well as the tractor side of farming, we’ve also been talking about animals. My son already know his farm animals and the sounds they make but we went to a little farm last week and I had to drag him away from watching the animals. He was fascinated with the turkey and whether it would jump down because we were talking about how they can’t fly…it never got down. We watched the chickens eat seeds and the pig mainly lie around and sleep. I had wanted to take him to a petting zoo which I know he will love but our week was too busy to fit it it, we will definitely be going in the next few weeks though.

We’ve read books about farm animals, baby farm animals and life on a farm. We’ve played with his Farm Animal Finger Puppets, singing Old MacDonald and making all their noises. We’ve played with his toy tractors, digging dirt, taking the animals for rides and cutting the grass. He has a farm animal shape sorter which isn’t good as a shape sorter because you can fit the animals in most holes if you turn them but it’s still lots of fun to have a barn and all the animals.

Like most Toddler Lesson Plans and Activities, I kept these very informal by having a theme to our activities for the week and always being mindful of bringing it up when the opportunity presented itself.

Here are some great activities you can do with your child, depending on their interests.

  • Print off the Farm Animal Colouring Sheets of the Farm Animal Finger Puppets sold in my Etsy Shop located at the bottom of this post.
  • Drive out in the country past fields and talk about what’s growing in them or read a book about it.
  • Visit a farm…there are some great farms open to the public, try to find a petting zoo!
  • Sing Old MacDonald had a Farm.
  • Read books about farms, tractors and farm animals, your local library will have a great variety!
  • Play with stuffed animals, Finger Puppets or any farm like toys your child has.
  • Watch a video, such as Baby Einstein – A Day on the Farm
  • Do a craft for a Farm Animal…there are lots of ideas on Pinterest.

Have fun! Take advantage of your child’s eagerness to learn while spending quality time with them too!

Free Printable

Free Printable

Free Printable

Free Printable

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Travelling with Toddlers…Survival Tips…You Can Do This!!


Looking back, travelling with a baby was a piece of cake compared to travelling with a toddler. Babies aren’t mobile, babies don’t need constant snacks and entertainment, babies aren’t newly potty trained. Toddlers are a whole new ball game.

The most important thing to survive travelling with a toddler is still the same, you have to be prepared.

The Car…

I have lots of travel friendly activities for toddlers in my Etsy Shop. Below is one of the many Airplane Tray Covers which also fits over a cookie sheet for your child to play with while in the car. If they want a change you can also bring some magnets for them to stick on the cookie sheet but that works better if someone is sitting next to them as they can drop the magnets and you won’t be able to reach them while you’re driving.

Survival Tips: Travelling with a Toddler

I also sell Felt boards which are light and easy to carry and fit perfectly on a child’s lap!

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I always pack easy snacks like Fruit To Gos to pass back to my son in the car. We have a few Children’s Cds handy which is his favourite, insisting that everyone sings and dances…again and again and again. We play a simple version of I Spy, pointing out all the cool tractors and trucks we see, different birds and animals…dogs going for a walk, squirrels, etc. We talk about when the light is red it means stop and green means go. I find that as long as my son is getting attention he is happy in the car.

For really long car rides, I have found that it’s best to drive through the night. If your child is potty trained but still wearing diapers then it’s not an issue because they normally associate wearing pyjamas with a diaper and you don’t have to worry about accidents or stopping every half hour! We drove 1300kms when our son was 22 months old, we left just before supper, had a late dinner on the road and then he passed out and slept the rest of the way. When we stopped for gas, bathroom breaks and to let our dogs out he did wake up and was disoriented and upset but it didn’t take long for him to calm down and fall back asleep.

If your child is potty training, no matter what distance you travel, I found this great idea on Pinterest, I just picked up the fabric to make it so I will let you know how it goes in a later post! We had a bad day of potty training last week, he soaked the water proof mat I normally fold into his car seat and then had another accident on the way home. It was not fun taking everything apart, hand washing the cover and air drying it in time to go out the next morning. This Piddle Paddle will be a life saver!

Flying…

Before you board, no strollers, you need to burn off your child’s energy the best you can. If you’re not travelling alone, one of you take care of your things while the other follows your toddler around. If there’s space, let them run. Watch planes take off, find a kid’s play area. You are about to expect them to sit still for at least an hour which never goes down well with a toddler so you need to help tire them out the best they can. It’s also great if you’re able to book your flight around their nap time but that’s not always possible for long haul flights. If you are travelling alone, pack your stroller with your belongings, park it where you can keep an eye on it and let your child run around!

Your child is mobile and does not want to sit on your lap. If they’re still under 2 and you chose the free option of sharing a seat with them you will have to convince them to sit still….a.k.a. bribe and distract! Really it’s awful to bribe children because they will only manipulate it and up the ante, what I mean is make it worth while for them to stay. Some ideas…

…snacks, airplane tray cover, felt board, finger puppets, books, 5-10 pieces of Duplo, Colouring, Tablet.

I see loads of cool ideas of what people take for their toddlers to play with on a plane but be mindful, seats are crowded together and your toddler will drop things. You do not want to bring a bunch of activities with little pieces that you are constantly crouched on the floor trying to find.

A cool idea I found that worked was buy a Weekly Pill Container and fill it with different snacks, depending on your child’s age and fine motor skills they can open the individual compartments or point to the one they want opened. They take a piece out, you close it again and it spreads out the snack!

Again, be aware of Bathroom locations, if you’re changing diapers, know which bathroom has a change table and ask flight attendant for a few baggies. My last flight, the only bathroom with a change table was out of order and I had to change my toddler’s diaper on the floor at the front of the plane, not fun! But we survived.

Happy Travelling!

If you missed it, be sure to check out my post on Surviving Travel with a Baby!

🎶 E-I-E-I-O! 🎶

About a month ago, my son and I went out to run a typical afternoon of errands and appointments. Unfortunately, nothing went our way. When finally driving home nearly two hours later than planned, feeling exhausted and mistreated with nothing planned for supper, I was near tears…until I heard a perfect little voice from my angel in the backseat.

E-I-E-I-O”, which is his way of asking me to sing Old MacDonald.

With my lovely tone deaf voice, that my son somehow loves, I started singing. We went through all the verses, naming all the animals we could think of, my son making the noises for each animal. After singing about all the animals on Old MacDonald’s farm atleast once, sometimes three times for my son’s favourite such as a pig (he does an impressive snort!), we were nearly home and I had forgotten about the crappy afternoon we had just had. 

Moments like this make me so grateful for my beautiful little boy. He is truly a Godsend. Although we have rough days, and this one started off as one of those days, his positive, joyful spirit completely changed everything. He is such a blessing.

These finger puppets are inspired by that blissful moment on our drive home. I can’t wait to give them to my little guy and play with them, but I’m going to save them for our long drive to Manitoba next week.

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/226971467/farm-animal-puppets

When we arrived home, my husband was already there with dinner almost ready. What was such a horrible day, was completely turned around by the two favourite men in my life ❤️.