Play experiences featuring animals and food are two of the most appealing and relatable for children. While many children today only see food in the grocery store, the farm plays an important role in American history and in our lives today. Farms, animals, and tools have fascinated children throughout the ages and these toys remain popular. The farm stand here gives your child the opportunity to develop important skills in counting, identification, and pretend play as they grow.
Babies will enjoy looking at the animals and the food in this area. Show them the chickens, cows, and other animals in the object cases and make the sounds these animals make. Share a book about these animals when you get home or while you are here and talk about the animals they see here. Do the same with the foods—talking about the colors, shapes, and textures of the various foods as they touch them.
Toddlers are learning language at an astounding rate so it is important that you talk to them about everything they see. Ask your child to tell you what kinds of food and animals they see and to describe them. Toddlers are also learning to classify things into groups. Encourage your child to sort the vegetables and to compare the different fruits and vegetables using words.
Pretend play is a big part of the life of a preschooler and this area is a great place to encourage that pretending! Have your child go do the shopping or check you out at the market. Pretend you live on the farm and have your child tell you a story about what they do all day. When you get home look at some books about life on a farm or go visit a farm in your own community and talk about what you saw here at the museum!