fun-learning-with-scarecrowsWe recently blogged about ways to make learning fun using the theme of candy corn—and, today, we’ll share how you can turn the theme of scarecrows into a learning adventure.

This site provides lots of fun ways to introduce the idea of scarecrows to your preschooler, including coloring sheets of a scarecrow (here’s another version) and, for when your child asks what the scarecrow is supposed to be scaring away, a coloring sheet of a crow.

You can also teach your preschooler a simple chant:

Scarecrow, scarecrow,
How scary can you be?
You scared away the crows, 
But you can’t scare me!
No, you can’t scare me!

Here are ideas to expand on the chant shared at the site. You could invent a simple tune and sing the words—and then you could add motions and turn this chant into a song-and-dance routine. And if your child experiences other fears, perhaps of the dark, you could create a second verse that focuses on banishing those fears.

This website also recommends a book to enjoy together: “Lonely Scarecrow” by Tim Preston. The lonely scarecrow wants to be friends with birds and animals but “his beady eyes, his crooked nose, and his jagged metal mouth” fill the other creatures with fear. Once he becomes covered with snow, though, the animals don’t recognize him, thinking him to be a jolly snowman—and so they play with him. Once the snow melts, they realize that they love the scarecrow, after all.

“This book,” the Amazon description reads, “owes much of its strength to [Maggie] Kneen’s delicate renderings of farmyard creatures and nearly lifelike views of the scarecrow bursting from square framed seasonal vistas. The pleasingly plump animals look as snuggly as plush toys, and the scarecrow’s emotions seem palpable.”

If your child loves making crafts, this site offers a fun way to make a scarecrow out of a paper bag (white or brown), plus:

  • a printer
  • something to colour with (British site, British spelling!)
  • a black marker or pencil crayon
  • scissors
  • glue
  • paper
  • Optional: light yellow or beige paint or paper to make the face a different colour than the body.
  • Optional: big wiggly eyes

History of the scarecrow

If your child has always lived in an urban or suburban setting, he or she probably has had little opportunity to spend time on farms. If possible, consider taking a field trip to visit a farm where food is grown. If you can find one that also provides fun fall activities, such as a hay maze or a ride through a pumpkin patch, that’s even better!

You could then share how farmers do their best to protect the food that’s growing in their fields, but then crows—and other birds and animals—sometimes eat what’s meant for people. That’s why some farmers have used scarecrows.

Here’s even more history. Farmers have been using scarecrows to protect their crops for thousands of years. The inventors were probably people in ancient Egypt, except they weren’t worried about crows. They didn’t want quails to eat their food. Here is a picture of a quail that your child can color.

People in ancient Greece carved their scarecrows out of wood and painted them purple. Maybe your child would like to color one of the scarecrow pictures in that color. How different does it look from the scarecrow in the book, “Lonely Scarecrow”? In Japan, a long time ago, farmers put scarecrows in their rice fields, and dressed them in raincoats and round hats. In England, young child were sometimes used as “bird scarers,” where they would walk through the fields and wave their arms at the birds.

Movie Night

On a chilly night, you could pop some popcorn, make some hot chocolate with marshmallows and watch “The Wizard of Oz,” where a scarecrow is a hero.

The possibilities of fun learning with scarecrows are limited only by imagination!

Looking for more ways to enrich your child’s learning and life? Horizon Education Centers provides affordable quality care including educational and enrichment opportunities for children in the following Northeast Ohio locations.

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