Learning about Cows and activities for kids

by Mary Ann on January 9, 2012

picture of books on cows

A mammologist would study cows

The study of mammals is called mammology. This is a branch of zoology, which is the study of animals. So for grandma school we studied a mammal – cows and we did a lot of cow activities.

When I got to the children’s home Jack’s first question was “What are we going to learn today grandma?” So we played a guessing game to see if they could figure it out. When I finally said “We are going to learn about cows today” Jack yelled Wohooo, Cows! Kids are soooo easy to please.

As usual we started with some great books about cows. We like to gather around the table and turn the pages one by one. We don’t actually read the books but we talk about the pictures and I tell them fabulous fun cow facts I know such as, “Did you know a cow has four stomachs. Four! You only have one but a cow has four!!” That type of comment is usually followed by a question such as “Why Grandma.” Then we get to learn a bit more.

kids reading books on cows

Books are a great jumping off place for any topic

Jack’s favorite cow fact is this: Daddy cows are called bulls and they go Moo really, really loud. In fact grandma does such a great daddy cow impersonation that she can get real daddy cows to answer her back. Don’t believe us. Just listen!

In your library you will find many books with loads of pictures and facts about cows. Here are some which might just give you some new ideas about cows.

Books of facts about Cows for Kids:
• Cows in the Parlor: A Visit to the Dairy Farm by Cynthia McFarland
• My Cows by Heather Miller
• Milk: From Cow to Carton by Aliki
• Cows on the Farm by Mari C. Schuh
• Life on a Cattle Farm By Judy Wolfman
• Cattle Kids: A Year on the Western Range, Cat Urbigkit
• Cows, by Rachael Bell

After we read all about cows we did another interesting activity related to cows.We looked at a picture sheet I had made on my computer. I put pictures of all the items that are made from milk that I could think of. I also put all of those items that we had on hand on the table. We looked at the pictures and talked about what each one was and then we found that item on the table and tasted it. Of course we all liked the cookie dough best. (It has milk in it!)

kids tasting milk products

We get a lot of good food from cows!

Kids could print off two sheets, glue them to tag board, cut the pictures apart and play the Memory game.

We also did a fun cow craft, cow door hangers, a very simple project which I am sure you can figure out from looking at the picture. But just in case you want directions or your older children want to make a talking cow click here.

The most fun part was learning to cut with scissors. Jack tried it the traditional way but then switched to using two hands and having me hold and turn the paper. Some special scissors with 4 finger holes allowed me to help Maggie actually cut her own cow spots. she was thrilled.

kids making cow crafts

As I have said many times I do not run to the store if I am missing an item, I just make do. We had the large paper plates but we cut out tag board circles to replace desert plates. We had skinny chenille stems so our tails weren’t as fluffy as the model cow. No one noticed. We didn’t have any little bells lying around so we just cut them out of paper. I think our cow door hanger crafts are every bit as lovely as the one on the web!

cow door hanger craft picture

We ended the day by making mac and cheese. We liked tasting the powdered cheese. Cooking is a favorite activity so we all helped. We had it for lunch and we are so glad there are cows in the world.

kids making mac n cheese, a milk product

While we ate our mac and cheese we ended by reading a silly story called The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson and Marcellus Hall. Here are some other possibilities, including a few easy readers and a chapter book or two to read together.

kids eating mac n cheese

We are soooo glad there are cows in the world

Story books about cows for kids:
• Sixteen Cows by Lisa Wheeler
• The Story of Ferdinand by Munroe Leaf
• Kiss the Cow! by Phyllis Root and Will Hillenbrand
• Counting Cows by Michelle Medlock Adams and Mark Meyers
• The Cow That Went OINK by Bernard Most
• Donna O’Neeshuck Was Chased by Some Cows by Bill Grossman and Sue Truesdell
• George Washington’s Cows by David Small
• Moonstruck: The True Story of the Cow Who Jumped Over the Moon by Gennifer Choldenko
• The Smallest Cow in the World (I Can Read Book 3) by Katherine Paterson and Jane Clark Brown
• The Blue Cow (Sugar Creek Gang Series) by Paul Hutchens
• The Cow in the House: Level 1 (Easy-to-Read, Puffin) by Harriet Ziefert and Emily Bolam
• Mrs. Wow Never Wanted a Cow (Beginner Books) by Martha Freeman and Steven Salerno

Do you want to expand your study of cows and let it take you in other directions? Would you like to engage your older love of learning kids? See the wonderful possibilities below.

Cow books about math:
• Whole-y Cow: Fractions Are Fun by Taryn Souders and Tatjiana Mai-Wyss

Cow books about giving:
• 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy. The true story of a gift from a village in Kenya to the USA after 9/11.

Cow tales from other countries:
• The Silver Cow: A Welsh Tale by Susan Cooper and Warwick Hutton
• Hamish the Highland Cow by Natalie Russell
• The Cow-Tail Switch: And Other West African Stories by Harold Courlander, George Herzog and Madye Lee Chastain

Cows in history:
• Dadblamed Union Army Cow by Susan Fletcher. The story about a cow that marched (clopped?) in the Civil War with the Fifty-Ninth Regiment of Indiana Volunteers, giving milk to the soldiers. Go here for true facts about this book and to see a picture of the real cow that inspired the story.

Cows in Art:
• Learn to Draw Farm Animals: Step-by-step instructions by Jickie Torres and Robbin Cuddy
• The Blue Rider: The Yellow Cow Sees the World in Blue (Adventures in Art) by Doris Kutschbach

Cows and English:
Herd of Cows, Flock of Sheep: Adventures in Collective Nouns (Language Adventures Book) by Rick Walton and Julie Olson

Cows and a girl with Autism:
Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery and Temple Grandin

Books about cows that aren’t even cows:
Sam the Sea Cow (Reading Rainbow Books) by Francine Jacobs and Laura Kelly
Sea Cows, Shamans, and Scurvy: Alaska’s First Naturalist: Georg Wilhelm Steller by Ann Arnold

Information about cows for kids.

Do you have any favorite books about cows to share? What is your children’s favorite mammal.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shiniga January 11, 2012 at 11:39 am

I feel the cows in the cow door hanger crafts you made look happier than the one on the web. Might be because of all the happy kids around. 🙂


Mary Ann January 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm

This made me laugh – they are happier!!


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