Play time is the best platform for language development. The most important thing is to find toys that your child loves. With toy farm animals and a barn, you can work on all of the following:

  • Choice-making
    • Hold up two animals and ask your child which one they want. Prompt them to point to/ imitate the name of the one they want.
  • Vocabulary
    • Name the different farm animals with your child. The animal noise sounds are great first words, e.g. “baa” for sheep or “moo” for cow. You can also see if your child will give or show you animals that you ask for, e.g. “Where is the horse?”/ “Give me the goat”.
  • Understanding and using prepositions (e.g. in, on, under, in front, behind).
    • Tell your child where to put the animals (e.g. “Put the cow behind the barn.” or comment on where they have placed the animals, e.g. “The chicken is hiding in the hay!”. You can also encourage them to tell you where each animal should go. 
  • Imaginative play skills
    • When playing, pretend that the toy animals are sleeping, eating, drinking, jumping. Encourage them to imitate different actions linked to these words.

Above all, be silly and have fun!