Old MacDonald Had a Farm is a classic nursery rhyme that everyone just loves.

Inspired by the song which features in our Farm Rhymes and Songs for toddlers we have created a simple sensory tub for your little ones to play with.

Why not set up this Old Macdonald had a farm sensory bin and sing along to the rhyme with your toddler or preschooler as they play.

Old MacDonald Farm Sensory Tub Set up.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm Lyrics

Did you know that this is a great song for helping your child on their way for learning to read and write!

The sounds that the animals make and the E I E I O part help them to improve their speaking and listening.

So it’s time to get singing and to help you on the way here are the word to Old MacDonald Had a Farm.

Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O
And on that farm, he had a cow
E-I-E-I-O
With a MOO MOO here
And a MOO MOO there
Here a Moo, there a Moo
Everywhere a MOO MOO
Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O

Continue singing each new verse with a different farm animal and sound.

What animals will be on your farm?

Old MacDonald Had a Farm Sensory Bin

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Create a fun farm sensory bin to go along with the song.

Farm Sensory Bin Set up for toddlers to play with

This sensory bin is designed to minimize the mess.

We love messy sensory play, but sometimes you want something that is easier to clean up.

Feel free to add in some additional filler (colored rice, corn, etc.) if you want to increase the amount of scooping and pouring involved.

As always, supervise children during sensory bin play.

Be mindful of those that like to place things in their mouths.

Fisher price little people farm animals being used in the sensory bin

Choose materials that are age-appropriate! We have set this up with Fisher Price Little People Farm animals and people from other Little People sets. The Safari Ltd Farm TOOBmakes a great option for the 3+ crowd.

farm animal sensory tub play for toddlers and preschoolers

I used a large under bed storage bin for this sensory bin. It gave us a lot of room to play in. You could even set up multiple containers to create your farm if you don’t have one large enough.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm Small World Play

Why not try some of our Food-free Sensory Bin Ideas for Toddlers

toddler playing in an old MacDonald Farm Sensory Bin
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Old MacDonald Farm Sensory Bin

A simple sensory bin set up for toddlers and preschoolers to go with the nursery rhyme Old MacDonald Had a Farm.
Prep Time10 mins
Play Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Keyword: nursery rhymes, Preschool Activities, Sensory play, toddler activities
Author: Trisha Stanley

Equipment

  • Plastic Tub

Materials

Instructions

  • Using a large plastic Under bed storage bin add the wooden box in. We love the Melissa and Doug Toy boxes for this as they look like fences as well!
    melissa and dough box for farm animals
  • If you have any add some more fences to separate the animals out.
  • In one corner place the piece of blue felt for a duck pond.
  • Add in some of the moss for ground cover.
    farm animals in sensory bin
  • Then place your farm animals and people around the farm.
  • Don't forget to feed them add in small containers with pom poms for the food and water.
  • Place a farmer, tractor and other farm equipment you may have around so that your toddler can play.
  • Now invite your toddler to play.
    farm sensory bin ready for play

Farm Themed Small World Play Idea for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Invite Your Child to Play in the Old MacDonald Had a Farm Sensory Bin

Once you have everything set up in your farm sensory bin, invite your child to play.

Sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm and start talking about the animals on the farm.

What animal does your child want to sing about first?

My son chose the horses first. They needed a drink of water.

We sang “Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O, and on that farm he had a horse, E-I-E-I-O…” This is the perfect time to practice animal sounds, too.

toddler playing with a horse in a farm sensory bin

Next, he spent some time playing with the duck. The duck was having fun swimming in its pond.

You could sing the Nursery Rhyme Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day at the same time.

child placing a duck on a felt pond in a farm themed small world tub

Then, the duck had to visit all of the other animals on the farm.

inviting a toddler to play with the simple sensory play farm in an under bed storage bin

It was feeding time for the animals next. Elon decided the horses needed a separate trough for food, so we found another container for them. He gave them pom poms and grass.

imaginative play for toddlers with a farm small world

I specifically added the wooden blocks to encourage stacking and pretend play.

They are just one more prop for children to use in their play. The blocks can be used to build walls or make towers. Use them to create houses. Or pretend they are blocks of food for the animals.

Elon stacked the blocks into a tower.

stacking blocks in imaginative and pretend play for a tower

He also had the animals jump from block to block.

toddler playing with a small world play set up

The more he played, the more the farm scene changed.

The farmer drove the tractor, and the kids visited the animals.

Eventually, he collected all of the grass and placed it in a container for the animals to eat later.

When my kindergartner joined in later, she noticed the orange pom poms.

We had previously turned some orange pom poms into pumpkins (by adding a green chenille stem), so she asked to add pumpkins to the farm. Such a fun, unexpected addition!

More Farm Themed Activities For toddlers and Preschoolers

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10 simple farm animal crafts ideal for spring to do with toddlers and preschoolers. These fun crafts are easy to do and set up and come with step-by-step instructions on getting creative with the little ones. Ideal for making at home or in your classroom.

Farm Themed Name Recognition Activities – Use farm animals to practice spelling your name.

Farm Animal Treasure Hunt for Toddlers – Toddlers will love this simple animal treasure hunt. There are working on loads of skills, too.

10+ Farm Animal Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Check out this collection of farm themed fun.

Nursery Rhyme Sensory Bin Ideas

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Five Little Ducks Went Swimming One Day Sensory Bin

old macdonalds farm sensory play for toddlers
Author
Trisha Stanley

Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy and mom to Aiden, Lily, and Elon.

She’s the creator of Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play.

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