Play: The Farmhouse way!

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Looking for an all round toy to develop play, language and attention? The “Little People” Farmhouse” can do that and more!

With Christmas coming up and birthdays happening all the time it can be difficult to think of toys or games to give children. Here is a list of games that we find particularly useful and fun for developing a range of skills! Make fun productive through wise toy choice.

The “Little People” Farmhouse is a marvellous addition to your toy cupboard as it includes many familiar animals which make it easy to keep children interested. Not to mention making noises in play adds to the excitement for many children and it’s a way the children can see the parents are also having fun. Fun and laughter is contagious and makes play more inviting for children. When children laugh and have fun with parents they are distracted from the idea of learning new things. So check out the tips below on how to have fun with your child.

Ways to use this toy to teach your child a variety of
skills include:

  • Animal noises: Hide the animals in a bag. Get your child to pull out an animal and make the animal noise before placing it in the farm.
  • Matching animal to its noise: Get your child to open one of the doors on the farmhouse and then find the animal that matches the noise they hear.
  • Matching other animals: Collect any other version of other ‘same’ animals (eg pigs, sheep) and ask your child to match the pig to the pig, and the sheep to the sheep to develop awareness that the same animal can look different but still be the same thing.
  • Understanding/recognising animal names: Hide the animals around the room. Ask your child to find a particular animal and then place it in the farmhouse.
  • Naming animals: Hide the animals around the room. Turn out the lights and get your child to go on an animal hunt. When they find an animal get them to name the animal before placing it in the farmhouse.
  • Imaginative play skills: Help your child to make up stories using the farmhouse and animals. Teach them about the sequence of daily activities on a farm (e.g. wake up, feed the animals, take the animals out to the field, ride the horses, bring the animals home when its night time).
  • Following instructions: Place the animals around the room. Use the tractor and ask your child to help the farmer to find his lost animals. Give the child an instruction to follow depending on their skill level (i.e. For 1-2 year olds: one level instruction such as “Where’s the cow?”; for 2-3 year olds: 2 step instructions such as “Find the cow and then find the horse”; for 3-4 year olds: 3 step instructions such as “Find the pig, the chicken and then find the sheep). You can take it in turns to give each other instructions so that your child starts to learn about turn taking and joint interactions.
  • Concepts inside/outside, in front/behind: Get your child to place an animal in a specified location (e.g. “Put the cow inside the farmhouse” or “Put the sheep behind the farmhouse”).

How are these games helpful?

Using the fun ideas above the “Little People Farmhouse” can teach children to improve their imaginative play, social interactions, turn-taking, attention and listening, and understanding and use of language. These are some of the skills needed for occasional care and kindy.

Where can you buy this?

The “Little People Farmhouse” can be bought from Target, Toys R Us, Big W or Kmart.

For more information on the “Little People Farmhouse” or other suggestions for how to use this great toy, please contact our friendly Speech Therapists and Occupational Therapists at Kid Sense Child Development.

Or share your play ideas to add to the list or even other toys that you use in conjunction with the farmhouse.

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