Farmyard

The more hands-on practice young children have with counting, the easier it becomes to visualize numbers and give meaning to them. This farmyard game makes early learning fun! If you don'’t have farm animals, use dinosaurs, cars, or anything else you have to hand, or print out our animal counters.

Age: 3-5

Skills:
Counting
Counting on
Visualizing numbers

Equipment:
One die (1-3 twice; see instructions below)
Plastic farm animals, or use our animal counters
Printable game board or file folder

Farmyard Game Board Printable

The die:

You will need to “doctor” a die so that it has 2 each of the numbers 1 to 3. You can do this easily by covering over the faces of an ordinary die with small plain stickers. You may want to write the number 1s in one colour, 2s in another colour and so on.

Instructions

You will need one “game board” for each player, and lots of farm animals. Our printable game board has two versions - one with numbers and one without. Choose the game board which you feel is most appropriate for your child: younger children may benefit from having the numbers written onto their “field”. If you are making a file folder game, print out two copies of the same board and stick one on each side of the file folder; two children can then play together. Put the animals in the center of the table where everyone can reach them.

The youngest child starts by rolling the die and selecting the appropriate number of animals to go into his field. If you are using the numbered game board, he should place them in the correct order.

The first child to 10 wins. Encourage lots of counting along the way and ask plenty of questions (“How many more animals will Mary need to get to 10?”).

Variations:

Older children can be encouraged to roll the correct number to reach 10 exactly.

Turn the game round and start with 10 animals in the field. The first to take all the animals away is the winner.

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