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In honor of National I Love Horses Day on July 15th, I’ve dedicated a post to fun horse activities for kids. Whether or not your child has ever expressed an interest in horses before, now is a great time to introduce them to this wonderful animal. If horses are already a part of your life, celebrate by showing your horses you love them. Talk to your kids about them. Even if you can’t make it to the stable, you can do a lot of horse-related activities at home.
Someone once told me that horses can give humans more love than a dog. I found that hard to believe until I did an internship at a school with a horse stable. On my tour, a horse had his back to me and turned around as I stood in front of his stall. I fell in love when he nudged me and tried to eat my hair. Unfortunately, as a city girl, I don’t have space for a horse at this point in my life. I remember a kid in my preschool class came to school every day in cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and always pointed out the horses in the illustrations of the books I read them. Let’s face it, horses have a strong impact on our lives.
10 Fun Facts About Horses
To get started, share some of these fun facts about horses with your kids. They would make a great conversation starter.
- Horse hooves are made from the same material as human hair and fingernails
- Horses can run within hours of being born
- Horses can’t throw up
- Horses have the largest eyes of land mammals
- Horses can sleep lying down or standing up
- The fastest horse recorded ran at 55mph (88kph).
- The oldest horse on record was named “Billy”, he lived to be 62.
- Horses neigh when they meet or leave each other
- Horses are honored in many cultures
- Horses are very social. They get lonely and mourn the passing of others
Horses Teach Us
Like dogs, horses give humans life lessons on love, companionship, and loyalty. Horses show us how to work with others. Like us, horses have personalities and emotions. Use horses to teach your child certain skills that they will carry throughout their life.
- Since they are herd animals, they respect roles within the herd and work together as a group. When a human domesticates a horse, the horse views them as part of the herd.
- Horses are large animals and intimidating to many. The reports we hear about people getting thrown off horses are rare. Working with and caring for horses (or any animal for that matter), builds a sense of confidence within us.
- Horses show us how to build a good, personal, relationship. Horses have a sense in telling when something is wrong, even when other humans can’t. While they can’t have a conversation, horses can give support in nonverbal ways that make humans feel loved, accepted, and unjudged.
- Horses also teach us responsibility and patience. The daily care for a horse requires lots of grooming and cleaning. Humans know that while one day of hard work won’t give them the instant relationship, they will appreciate knowing that caring for horses will result in the return of a loving and loyal relationship.
Horse Activities for Children
I had a great time researching fun activities that will make your child develop a greater appreciation for horses. Many activities are as simple as a coloring page, or more complex.
- Vanessa at Mama’s Happy Hive gives suggestions of Montessori inspired activities in a horse-themed unit. Have your children practice their fine motor skills by pin poking a picture of a horse outline, washing horse model toys, or matching pictures, among other things.
- Make a handprint horse. This simple craft will allow you to have a keepsake while giving your child an artistic sense of satisfaction!
- Have some quiet time with a horse maze or coloring pages.
- Sing some horse-related songs or nursery rhymes.
- Play a game with your kids that will give them some great gross motor exercise. Get the Cowboy Movement Game for free here.
Horse Toys Your Kids Will Love
Recommended Ages: 3 and up.
The Plush Horse Barn is a great toy for your preschooler. They’ll love the soft and cuddly animals that are perfect for quiet play. They can use their imaginations as they create different scenes for the stuffed animals.
If you have children 3 or under, try the Prextex Plush Farm House.
Recommended ages: 3 and up.
Your child will love learning about different horse breeds while playing with the velvet models included in this set. The set features 12 horse breed with a breed identification paper.
Recommended Ages: 2-5
Kids love Legos, and they can grow their collection with this Duplo set specially made for toddlers with larger building blocks. The Town Farm Pony Stable helps children develop fine motor skills in addition to feeding their imaginations.
Recommended Ages: 4-10
Allow your child to exercise their creativity with this horse themed wooden stamp set. Even if your children are under the age of 4, they will love using the stamps under your supervision. You can make great projects together. They’ll also have a chance to use their fine motor skills. Choose from the personalized version or standard version. You get 10 stamps, 5 colored pencils, and a 2-color inkpad.
Great Horse Books To Read
Fill your bookshelf with these horse-themed books. Bond with your child with fun bedtime stories or educational books.
- If I Ran The Horse Show: All About Horses (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) by Bonnie Worth. Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library produced a great story about a horse show.
- Little Horse: Finger Puppet Book by Chronicle Books. Make your child laugh with this finger puppet book.
- Touch and Feel: Ponies by DK Publishing. Even if your child can’t pet a real horse, they can get a sense of what one feels like with this touch and feel book by DK.
- My Pony by Susan Jeffers, a great story about a little girl who dreams of a pony of her own.
- Goodnight Unicorn: A Magical Parody by Karla Oceanak. Who says unicorns aren’t horses? This story is the perfect bedtime read for any lover of these magical creatures.
You’re now well on your way to planning the perfect horse activity for your child. Depending on what your child likes, they can read a book, do a craft, or playing with a new toy! There are plenty of activities for your child to develop a love for horses year round.