By Lisa Kivirist
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When the mercury peaks, here’s a dash of fresh ideas for engaging children in the farm scene:
1. Grow Some Green
Helping in the garden takes on new meaning for kids when there’s a financial incentive. During peak harvest season, help your kids organize a stand at your local farmers’ market. From harvest handling to counting change, a farmers’ market provides a one-stop summer school of learning fun.
2. Throw Summer-long Contests
Add a fun twist to daily farm routines with a summer-long challenge, something you track all summer long and declare a winner at the end of the season. This could be:
- Tracking the longest zucchini
- Heaviest pumpkin or
- Timing how fast you can all get the evening chores done when you work together.
3. Search for Treasure
Organize an on-farm scavenger hunt. Create a list of either:
- Small, natural items they can collect (acorns, maple leaves) or
- Farm landmarks to identify (number of windows in the dairy barn).
4. Organize a Farm Field Trip
Go on an educational day trip and check-out a neighboring farm. Plug your zip code into the Local Harvest website (get links to Local Harvest and more!); you’ll be surprised by the number of nearby farms you never have crossed paths with.
5. Camp Out
Daily animal chores and responsibilities often put a damper on traveling off the farm overnight. Instead, bring the camping adventure home by pitching tents and sleeping under the stars right on farm ground. Create the “getaway” feel and pack your cooler, toothbrush and camera and appreciate the beauty of home.
About the Author: Lisa Kivirist is the co-author of ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance and writes from her Wisconsin farm and B&B, Inn Serendipity.