Here a Moo, There a Moo
Old MacDonald wants you to know why singing his song is so important.
In a mouthful, “agricultural literacy.”
If singing songs and reading stories strengthens your child’s language literacy, then singing farm songs and reading farm stories will sow the seeds of an early connection with agriculture. And in an increasingly urban world, this is no small thing: To be aware fosters care. We want our children to care about their food, and to make healthy choices as they grow away from us. We want our children to understand markets and commerce, to later make solid political and economic decisions. We want our children to appreciate the dedication of farming families who make it their life’s work to put a bowl of cereal on our breakfast tables.
Now, at this tender age, it isn’t critical to explain to your preschooler where exactly her chicken nuggets come from. But it is a great time to lay the foundation for future discussions about where our food and fibers come from. Few children are lucky enough to look for kittens in a little red barn. Or to giggle at the piglets rolling in a muddy sty. But every child should have the chance to read about a little red barn and silly muddy piglets. And Old MacDonald believes that pretending to moo, quack, and oink is a pretty fun way to connect with his animals!
So let’s read and sing about barns and farmers, cows and roosters, oats-peas-beans-and-barley, bees and butterflies—and let’s raise a bunch of kids with dirt under their nails and caring in their hearts.
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