Inside: Free printable farm animal picture cards and real animal sounds for fun and learning. These farm animal activities for preschoolers support listening, matching, pre-literacy, and empathy skills.
“Auntie, do pigs really say oink?”
I suppressed a giggle and looked down at the 3-year-old in front of me.
The corners of his mouth pulled down into a frown. His forehead wrinkled with concern.
This was serious.
“Let’s do some research,” I said as I picked up my phone. I found a pig sound on YouTube as my daycare kids gathered around me.
As we listened, their eyes grew wide. Some looked serious, some laughed – one backed away in fright.
Hearing a real pig make real pig sounds made a big impression. I had to find a way for them to explore more animal sounds.
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I decided to use farm animal picture cards paired with real animal sounds to help the kids learn more. The activities are simple – and great learning opportunities.
During the activities, kids will:
- Develop listening skills
- Practice matching
- Learn pre-literacy skills
- Build a connection with animals – which supports the development of empathy.
And, they’re tons of fun.
Farm Animal Picture Cards for Fun and Learning
- Download the Free printable farm animal picture cards and mp3s.
- Print the pdf on card stock for durability. Some of the activities require 2 copies.
- Cut along the grey lines to make your animal cards.
- Make a playlist of the farm animal sounds in your music app of choice.
Listen to the Farm Animal Sounds
- Play one of the farm animal sounds. Listen intently with your child. Keep the volume low to start. Some of the sounds can be startling.
- Ask “What is making that sound?”
- Invite your child to imitate the sound.
- Don’t spill the beans just yet. If your child doesn’t know the animal or makes an incorrect guess, that’s OK! Focus on listening.
- Repeat with the rest of the sounds.
Explore the Farm Animal Cards
- Lay the farm animal pictures face up on the table.
- Read the animal name printed on the card.
- Talk about the farm animals. What colors are they? Do they have hair, fur, or feathers? How many legs do they have?
- What do the animals provide? For example, chickens lay eggs that people collect and eat.
Match the Sound to the Animal
- Lay the farm animal cards face up on the table.
- Play an animal sound.
- Invite your child to find the corresponding card.
- If needed, give hints. “Hum.. that sounds almost like a “honk honk.” What animals make that sound?” Use the process of elimination if it’s hard to identify a particular sound.
Play Farm Animal Bingo
Note: One set of the farm animals picture cards supports a 2 player game. Print a second set to play with 3-4 players.
- Place 6 random farm animal cards face up on the table in front of each player. If a player is dealt a duplicate animal card, replace it with a different card.
- Put the farm animal sounds playlist on shuffle.
- When a player hears a sound that corresponds to a card, turn that card face down.
- The first player to flip all of their cards wins.
Farm Animal Memory
- Shuffle two sets of farm animal cards.
- Lay the cards face down in a 6 by 6 square.
- The first player flips 2 cards face up. If the cards match put them in a stack to the side. If they don’t match, turn them back over. Play passes to the left.
- Continue until all of the cards are paired up.
- The winner is the player who collects the most pairs or play cooperatively by placing the card pairs in one stack.
Same and Different
- Lay 2 Farm Animal Cards face-up on the table.
- Name and examine each card.
- Listen to each animal sound.
- Make 2 columns on a piece of paper. Write “same” on one side and “different” on the other.
- Discuss ways that the two animals are the same. Write down the ideas.
- Discuss ways that the animals are different. Write down the ideas.
- Emphasize how interesting it is that they can be the same and different at the same time! This is an important concept for teaching children about diversity.
- Repeat with more pairs or small groups of animals.
Sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm
- Choose a Farm Animal Card at random.
- Sing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” using the animal you chose.
- Repeat with as many animals as you like
Learn more about Farm Animals
Here are a few of our favorite farm animal books. Continue learning and build connection by enjoying them together.
The Big Red Barn
by Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by Felicia Bond
Old MacDonald Had a Farm
By Gail Gibbons
Now, you tell me. Do pigs really say “oink?”
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