By Lisa Kivirist
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When the mercury peaks, hereâ€™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 thereâ€™s a financial incentive. During peak harvest season, help your kids organize a stand at your local farmersâ€™ market. From harvest handling to counting change, a farmersâ€™ 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.Â
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).Â
4. Organize a Farm Field Trip
Go on an educational day trip and check-out a neighboring farm. PlugÂ your zip code into the Local Harvest website (get links to Local Harvest and more!); youâ€™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 â€śgetawayâ€ť 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.