COLOR MATCH: Have kids name the colors on the animals and the tractor. Challenge them to put the blue tractor on something blue on the rug, the brown horse on something brown, and so on.
COUNT IT OUT: Have kids count the legs on one of the animals. Next, have them count the legs on two animals, then three. Point out various details on the rug, such as trees, hay bales, apples, etc., and ask kids to count them aloud as they point to them.
ANIMAL ID: Help kids identify the animal play figures (cow, pig, horse), and the other animals on the rug (ducks, chickens). Be sure to encourage making the animal noises! Have kids match the cow to the cow on the rug, and find places on the rug where each animal is likely to spend time. Talk about what the animals do on a farm, and what farmers have to do to take care of them.
MAP IT OUT: Have kids use the tractor to drive a route around the farm based on your instructions. For instance, you could say, "Start at the yellow farmhouse, then follow the dirt road past the chicken coop to the cornfield. Go to the orchard and leave the trailer near the red apple tree . . ."
FOLLOW THE LEADER: Move an animal around the farm from one location to another. Have kids watch you and then follow the same route from memory with another animal. Take turns being the leader and the follower as you change the route around the rug.
FARM TALES: Encourage kids to make up a story using the rug, the animals, and the tractor and trailer. Perhaps the pig wants to get some apples from the orchard, but she is afraid to go by herself, so she asks the cow to come along. As they pass the tractor, the cow suggests they take it for a ride!
ADD YOUR OWN TOYS: Round the Barnyard Farm Rug is designed to play perfectly with toys you already have! Use additional animals, wooden trains, cars, chunky puzzle pieces, and play people to fill the scene and play make-believe. You can use blocks to construct (and demolish!) a building, add fish to the pond, or use pebbles to build walls or line the roads. Get creative and have fun!
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