Baby Play: Farm Animal Book Basket

Recently, A has become so interested in books. If he sees one lying around he’ll often go over and have a look at it – and of course, a good chew on it too. Because we already had a consistent bedtime routine in place for T, A has heard books being read nearly every day of his life so far, and so it’s lovely to see him showing an interest in them independently. 

I wanted to use this interest to create some activities for him, so I’ve decided to start making some book baskets for him. Very simply, these are baskets with a favourite story in, and a few props. They are very simple activities to set up, but rich in learning opportunities for babies. I wanted to share one of these today.

For this book basket I used a very simple wooden farm animals book which T was given when she was small. It shows simple pictures of seven different farm animals along with their name. T helped me to put the book basket together by finding one of each farm animal – a cow, a pig, a cat, a rabbit, a duck, a cockerel and a rabbit. We also included a farmer figurine.

Naming animals

To begin with, I looked through the book with A. I named each animal and encouraged him to pick it out of the basket. I repeated the name several times and made the animal noise. I used lots of repetition to help him associate the name and the sound with both the picture and the object.

Singing songs

Once we’d been through the book and looked at all the different animals a few times, I sang a few farm animal songs to him. We started with Old MacDonald which meant I could reiterate each of the animals names and sounds. We also sang Baa Baa Black Sheep and Sleeping Bunnies. A loves to bounce so I am sure Sleeping Bunnies is set to become a firm favourite!

What he is learning:

  • Social development: building relationships; showing interest in joint activities; responding to what I’m giving attention to.
  • Communication and Language: becoming familiar with animal names and sounds; responding to my voice
  • Physical development: picking up and exploring objects
  • Reading: Sharing enjoyment of books
  • Understanding the world: growing understanding of animals
  • Music: listening to and enjoying nursery rhymes; moving his body to the music

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