feeding the cow

Our Favorite Homeschool Farm Unit Study Activities

My kids love animals, so it's no wonder our farm unit is one of their favorites. It can easily be made into a hands-on unit and the possibilities for extensions are pretty much endless. If you time the unit right it can be one of the most memorable studies of the year. We definitely have a blast with it, so if you are planning on a farm unit for your homeschool I hope you find these ideas useful.


There are some really great times of the year to teach a farm study. Here in Texas we have lots of fairs and rodeos in the spring. Most of these have livestock shows where kids in FFA and 4H are showing the animals they have raised. You can walk around and see the different farm animals in the barns and even watch the kids show their animals. As a side note I showed heifers and chickens in high school and can tell you these kids put in tons of work, so it's really cool to watch today's kids with their animals. Some larger fairs even have petting zoos, milking demonstrations or even egg hatching!
Spring is also a great time to visit you-pick farms in your area. We had a blast picking our own strawberries last year at a local farm.
strawberry picking at the local farm
Fall is another great time to study farms because so many farms have festivals or pumpkin patches where you can go see the farm and its working parts. The same farm near us that has the strawberry picking in the spring also has a pumpkin patch in the fall. Not only do they have the pumpkin patch and farm stand set up, but they had a hay ride going so we could ride around the farm. My kids loved sitting on the hay behind a big tractor while we drove through the fields and past the cows. I'm not sure you can get much more "farmish" than that!
Hay ride at the pumpkin patch.

Sensory Bin

My kids still love a good sensory bin. I'm not sure what it is about them, but it's always one of the first things they want to do when we bring out a new theme.

This was a simple bin made from popcorn kernels and the Safari Lmtd Farm animals. We added a few pumpkin seeds to "feed" the animals and a couple of small hay bales from the craft store .

Farm sensory bin with corn and Safari Toobs
The pumpkin patch we visited actually had a stock tank filled with dry corn like the kind used for deer feed. My kids loved that even more. (And they got to use an old crank machine to take the dried corn off the ear!) I kind of want to do this in the yard next year...
huge tank of corn for kids to play in


We've been raising chickens for several years on our little backyard homestead, but my kids still absolutely love when we learn about chickens because it means new baby chicks. We were even lucky enough to be able to hatch some eggs under a hen a few years ago. While not everyone can have chickens in their backyard, you can find feed stores selling chicks, usually during spring and fall, and you can go by and see all the tiny chirping balls of fluff. This is also a good time to walk through the isles and look at the supplies used to raise the animals you may find on a farm. 
baby chicks


While we study chickens we also study eggs. You know those fancy brown eggs in the store? Did you know some chickens lay green or even blue eggs? (And no, those brown eggs aren't any healthier than white eggs unless they were raised on a different feed. Shell color doesn't determine how many nutrients are in the egg.) You can look up different chicken breeds and the colors they lay. The egg rainbow is a real thing!
eggs in every color
You can "dissect" an egg for an easy science experiment. Crack it open and discover the different parts! 
parts of an egg dissection activity
You could even try to find someone who raises chickens and buy some farm fresh eggs. There are usually people selling eggs at farmer's markets. See what colors they have and if they taste different from store bought eggs. (Usually the answer is yes, because as mentioned above feed makes all the difference in the egg nutrients and yolk color!) 
When I was younger my grandparents had a place across from a chicken farm with rows of chickens in cages. We would get our eggs straight from the chicken (they would grab them from the cage and pack them up for us) and visiting the chicken houses was definitely a memorable experience. Most small farms raise their chickens in a much different environment so researching different methods would be a fun activity.
If you can't find real chickens or chicks to play with you can find these to play with (along with posters, information and lots of activities - including the egg activity above - in my Chicken Unit Study.)
chicken coop dramatic play activity


We added a dairy unit this year which was ended up being one of our favorite parts. It may have moved up a few levels on the "best studies ever" due to a visit to a local ice cream company which allows tours. I've lived in and around Houston my whole life but had never been to the Blue Bell factory, so this was the perfect excuse to finally make that trip. Look up the companies in your area to see if any of them offer tours or allow the public to come in. 
A tour to the Blue Bell factory!
One of my personal favorite activities during our dairy unit was a trip to an actual local dairy farm. We bought raw milk and fresh meat from them and although most of the dairy cows were in the back pasture, we did get to see some calves next to the barn. That definitely brought the study to life. You can use Google to search local dairy farms near you, or you may even be able to find one when you visit the farmer's market to get your eggs!
Calves at the dairy farm
We also made some easy dairy products like whipped cream and butter and had a dairy product tasting!
home made butter
Of course, we had to "milk" our own cow first to get the cream. This simple glove and water activity is always a hit. Just fill up the glove, tie the end with a rubber band, and poke small holes in the end of the fingers with a pin. Then "milk" the cow to get the liquid out!
milking activity from a latex glove
You can find the tasting, a scavenger hunt, information on dairy cattle breeds, and the products they produce in my Dairy Unit Study here.

Scavenger Hunts

To practice vocabulary for our units, we like to do a write-the-room scavenger hunt. I find places to hide the cards and the kids have to find them and write the word on their paper. For our farm unit I hid the cards with matching props. The hay card was next to some bales from the craft store...
scavenger hunt - hay card with a hay bale
and the wheat card was in a bundle of wheat I bought a few years ago for a fall decoration.
wheat card hidden in wheat bundle

Farm Products

We talked about the different products that come from farms and I had the kids find examples in our house so they could see how much of what we use each day comes from farms. (Cotton, produce, meat, flour, etc. are just a few!) We also discussed the different types of farms and how they produce different things like produce, meat, or even flowers.

Farm products
We try to change our units up a little each year and switch some of them out, but this is definitely a topic we have to study every year. There is so much to learn and it can be taught in such a fun way that the kids beg for it multiple times a year. And I'm totally okay with that because it means lots of fun activities and field trips and happy kids eager to learn. Definitely a homeschool win, right?
You can pick up any of my farm units in my shop, or grab the bundle of all three units here. My chicken study includes eggs, chicken anatomy and a life cycle, roosters vs hens, and lots of fun activities. The dairy unit includes dairy breeds, dairy products, a cow life cycle and more. The farm unit is packed full of information, posters, farm animals, the pig life cycle and anatomy, farm products, activities, a booklist, and extension ideas. 
I hope you found some of these ideas helpful and that you have just as much fun with your farm unit as we had with ours!
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.