Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Learning Animal Names and Sounds

I am working to teach my preemie-toddler, Emily, the names of the animals we see and the sounds they make. We often visit Frying Farm Park in Herndon, Virginia, to see and touch various farm animals.

Frying Pan Farm Park preserves and interprets farm life from the 1920s through the 1950s. It is home to many different animals, including cows, horses, sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, turkey, and rabbits.

As a budget conscious mom, I love Frying Pan Farm Park. Admission is to the park is free. So, if Emily is hungry or tired, we don't feel badly about spending a short amount of time at the Park.

The farm provides a great learning opportunity for both children and adults. When we see an animal, I say the name of the animal (i.e., "sheep") and then mimic the sound it makes (i.e., "Baa"). Then, I try to get Emily to repeat me. 

Four Activities to Learn Animal Names and Sounds

1.  Make an Animal Picture Book. 

We have taken hundreds of pictures of the animals that live at Frying Pan Farm Park. I am currently working to make an animal picture book for Emily to use at home. That way, Emily can visit familiar animals and point to them when I name them for her from the comfort of our own home.

I encourage you to visit a farm, take pictures, and make an animal picture book. Below are a few of the pictures I plan to put in Emily's animal book. If helpful, please feel free to print the pictures below for your child so that he or she can begin to learn animal names and sounds.


Frying Pam Farm Park is a home to many cows.  At this point, Emily is not yet saying, "cow," but she can point to a cow (or virtually any other animal) and say, "Moo."  In this picture, you can see Lilith, one of the new calves.


My favorite goat at Frying Pan Farm Park is named Stella. She recently had two babies.


Frying Pan Farm Park is home to numerous sheep. They were recently sheared for the hot summer months.


Emily's favorite animal at Frying Pan Farm Park is Jesse, the draft horse, who can be seen above. We visit Jesse often and giggle with enthusiasm when he sticks his head out of his stall to visit with us. We also visit him when he is grazing in the pasture.


Frying Pan Park has several turkey.  We enjoy watching the male turkey make loud "gobble gobble"  sounds.


We enjoy watching the ducks "quack" at Frying Pan Farm Park. Sometimes, they even take a bath in a bathtub located outside of their shelter.


It's not very often that we see Frying Pan Farm Park's peacock displaying his beautiful feathers. We were lucky to see the peacock show-off his beauty earlier this spring. While peacock are easy to identify by their beautiful feathers, I've found that it's difficult to imitate the loud sounds they make.
2. Sing Animal Songs.  We enjoy singing "Old McDonald Had a Farm" and often dance and sway to the lyrics while holding stuffed animals.

3. Read Children's Books About Animals.

We have several books about farm animals:
    • Touch and Feel: Farm by DK Publishing;
    • You are My Baby: Farm by Lorena Siminovich;
    • My Farm Friends by Wendell Minor; and
    • the Play-a-Sound book, Around the Farm by Eric Carle.
4. Play Recordings of Animal Sounds. We have the Fisher Price Farm See-and-Say. The toy is shaped like a barn. It teaches about 16 animals and features two flipping pages. Children can point the arrow and pull the lever, then flip the page for more animals to choose from. The toy even includes a quiz function.

If you enjoyed reading this blog post and viewing the pictures I have taken at Frying Pan Farm Park, then you may also be interested in following me on Instagram. Thanks for your readership and have a great week!


  1. Emily is lucky to be able to go to Frying Pan Farm Park with you so often. Hands on experiences are so important in teaching little ones.

  2. Oh man, I wish there was a place like this near us! I grew up with something very similar near me and have such fond memories. Watching kids experience animals is such a hoot!

    Katie @ Cup of Tea

  3. I wish so bad that we had a place like this near us. We don't even have a zoo... very neat ideas!

  4. Looks like an awesome place to visit and learn about animals!

  5. I love these ideas and also taking pictures! Some of my favorite childhood memories was visiting the "Friendly Farm!"