We cannot overstate how exceptionally pleased we are to have Head Start back on the farm for their regular fall field trips! This year, because nine of the ten classes are full-day programs, each class is spending a total of seven hours with us over the course of two days. Compared to our old schedule of four one-hour sessions, this change of schedule is certainly a superior way of experiencing the farm. The students really get to settle into their day here during those three and a half hours.
Here’s a taste of what the first day of the program looks like:
The students arrive on their bus and get their nametags on. We introduce them to our morning activity with the story What’s That Sound? (read it here). This starts our quest to find every animal on the farm – horses, goats, cows, chickens, dogs, and bugs! We scurry around the farm finding each animal, greeting them, and learning a bit about them, too.
After that, we get to my very favorite part of the farm – the mud kitchen! The students all don aprons and get to work crafting cupcakes, breads, worms, and bowls out of the mud in front of us. Sometimes, it takes a little bit of convincing to get their hands plunged into the mud, but Jeff’s mud high fives usually get everyone laughing and muddy.
After this, it is time to wash hands and get ready for lunch.
After lunch in the pavilion, everyone is set free to play in our toy-filled riding ring. We soon collect the students so that we can begin our next quest – to go camping! Oh my, this is fun. We begin by collecting our gear (a sleeping mat for each child) and taking a short hike up to the fire ring. Here, Jeff leads us in a fire-building lesson in which the kids help crumple up paper for the kindling. We, of course, emphasize that building fires is only for grown-ups who know how to build fires – not kids or inexperienced adults :)
We then read Duck Tents by Lynne Berry as we enjoy the warmth and dance of the fire. Soon enough, it is time to ‘sleep,’ so we all gather our sleeping mats and lay them out under and around the teepee. We leave the kids alone, for the most part, to rest or play quietly in the pine needles. It is such a delight to watch them act so serene and comfortable outdoors.
Soon, however, it is time to go back to school. We roll up our mats and hike back to the barn where the bus awaits. Until Day 2…