Preschool Dairy Cows

Today preschool was all about dairy cows.  We read several books and shared our background knowledge about cows.  At centers time, my associate ran the “cow milking center.”  She shared her ranch-hand experience with the kids and taught them everything a dairy farmer would know.  (She really was a dairy farmer, and spent a summer in Montana as a ranch hand – what great stories for the kids today!)

Our cow udders were made from surgical gloves and water.  After filling with water, we tied the glove closed.  Using the thumb as a tie-end also, we tied the two pieces around some poly-cord that was strung through the underside of a chair.  The ends of the strings were also tied around the glove knot for good measure.

The first couple tries, we poked holes with a paper clip or safety pin before filling with water.  My associate told me after class that poking the holes after filling with water was actually a better choice.  The kids “milked” the water into a bucket; usually four kids were able to participate simultaneously.  There were some kids that wanted to milk forever, and others that moved on quickly.

It also happened to be Aedan’s snack day today, so we made whole wheat cinnamon sugar bread shaped like pigs (or bears, depending on who you asked).  The kids gathered on the carpet after centers to help make homemade butter for the bread.  I put heavy whipping cream in two containers with twist-on lids and let the kids start passing and shaking around our carpet circle.  While we sang some farm songs, I also used the Magic Bullet to whip up more cream.  We added cinnamon/sugar to one batch of butter and left the other plain.

Usually I would add a marble to the hand-shaken mixture to speed up the process, but I forgot.  Nonetheless, the cream from the kids thickened enough for us to use for snack as well.

We gave the kids their choice of butter on a paper plate with their bread, which had been sliced open.  It was a quiet snack day!

In addition to all of the normal farm centers, we also made cows at the art table with paper plates.  We have our kids each bring paper plates as a school supply, and we still have a ton left.  I need to start looking for paper plate crafts!

I had a fun gross motor game for outside, but it was sprinkling.  Hopefully Thursday stays dry!

Cows in the pasture
Supplies: hula hoops, kids, farm hats, hobby horses
Directions:
A few children need to be ranchers and the others need to be cows.  The cows are grazing in the pasture and need to be gathered into barns for the night.  The ranchers can wear hats and ride hobby horses, or just gallop.
The cows and horses can mingle around the pasture until the teacher or head rancher rings the dinner bell.  The cows gallop into hula hoops (barns) under the supervision of the ranchers. You could put numbers inside each
 
barn to tell the kids how many can fit in a barn, or you could place varying limitations on barns to mix things up.  i.e.: this barn is only for kids with shorts, this barn is for girls, this barn is for kids with jackets, etc.
We have been working hard on galloping, and I am really excited to play this game as a new way to practice and assess that skill!