Friday, June 5, 2009

Farm Week: Day 4 The Farm!!!

Technically, today was the 5th day of our farm week, but we didn't do any farm activities yesterday. Today was our planned outing to a real farm. Before we left we made a little barn model that I had printed off from this link. I found this link at this website. It has a really great bunch of resources if you're interested. Below you can see our little barn. We need to use it to play with our little farm animals. We had to leave for the farm before we had time to get our little farm animals out.

I had a dual purpose for this little outing. Of course I wanted to take the boys to a real farm, but I also wanted to check out this setting as a potential field trip for my Montessori preschool class this fall. Luckily, since I had set up our visit as a teacher, we were the only ones there and got a guided tour from the director. This particular farm is set up specifically for educational purposes and is not open to the public unless they are there on a field trip. In addition to the farm, there is an outdoor Nature Explore classroom. This was so awesome! I have already scheduled our fall field trip here and we will be able to see the farm and the outdoor classroom. The outdoor classroom is set up much like a Montessori environment in that there are various areas and activities and the children can freely explore them in any way they choose. I snapped a photo of some of the areas to share here. I totally want to turn my backyard into something like this. It was SO cool.

This sand pit is called the Turtle Digging area and was created and constructed by a Boy Scout for his Eagle Scout project.

This is a natural building block area.

And a nature art area............

And the Climbing this!! My preschoolers will too.

This is an Apple Tree House built around some apple trees. It has different levels and a little "bridge" inside. My boys loved running around on this.

In addition to these areas there was a "tree cookie" path through some apple trees, a tunnel where gourds will be growing by the time we come back in the fall, a water pump, and a sensory garden. It was really just so awesome. I loved it so much.

After seeing the outdoor classroom, we got to see all the farm animals. There were goats, sheep, turkeys, ducks, chickens, cows, horses, and pigs. My boys' favorite parts were holding little baby chicks and sliding down a slide into a big pile of straw.

Below the boys are petting a black Silkie chicken. My oldest son and I are trying to talk DH into letting us raise chickens in the backyard. The director who was giving us the tour said that Silkies are the tamest and friendliest chickens. So......hopefully someday soon I'll be able to share with you our chicken coop and new chickens. (Really wishful thinking............DH isn't so sure about the whole idea.) My oldest son (the one who desires to be a chicken farmer) came home from the trip wanting to also raise pigs. Ummm, no. I don't think so. We DO live in the country, but we have slightly less than 2 acres. pigs. If any of you readers happen to raise chickens in your backyard, I'd love to have you write and tell me all about it. I found a great website called Backyard Chickens that is so cool. There are tons of photos of different chicken coops you can build. A few of my favorite ones are this one and this one and this one. After I post this I think I'll spend a few more hours perusing various chicken coop designs, because that's what a little farm geek I am. Warning: Inside joke alert: Trisha, I know you and Thad are laughing right now, but just live in a barn...........why not create a little replica of your lovely home for some feathered friends. Thad doesn't have to eat the eggs. You could sell them to your friends to help fund the retirement home of your dreams. The chickens wouldn't survive into your retirement, so that shouldn't influence your decision to become chicken farmers. Just think about it, OK? HA!


Jamie said...

The outdoor classroom idea is so neat! Thank you so much for sharing. I'm going to look into that rock building and nature art area-how fun!

It looks like a fun outing, I'm glad you and your boys had a great time.

Gigi said...

Wow!! What a wonderful place. I am going to do an Internet search to see if there is anything like this around here.
I would love to live on a farm if I did not have to do all of the work!!!

kt said...

I would like your farm resources!