As the first two months of Head Start’s school year are taken up with screenings and learning school rules, there are no field trips out to the farm. We farm folk, however, were impatient to meet our newest friends and to bid ‘welcome back’ to our returning four-year-olds. So, we arranged short ‘Farm 101’ introductory visits to each of the classrooms!
To begin, Joy, Sam, Jeff and I introduced ourselves to the kids and new teachers. Since we couldn’t bring ALL our farm creatures with us, Joy wrote a little story to show the kids all of the other animals on the farm – dogs, cats, goats, cows, horses, and chickens! As part of this story, she showed the kids how to greet an animal by offering him your fist to smell. Animals, she explained, don’t say hello, they sniff hello.
After the story, we broke up into small groups to practice this animal greeting with our norses (pool noodle horses), Ellie, Patsy, Mr. Blue, and Sprinkles. This greeting practice led way into an important discussion of respecting people’s and animals’ personal space bubbles.
Once all of our groups had mastered greeting our pretend horses and asking to come inside their bubbles, we brought out our very real animal visitors from the farm – two of our silkie chickens! We mostly brought our hens, Dizzy and Daphne, for visits, though our friends at Emmitsburg got the chance to pet and love our two roosters, Paco and Dezi. All the chickens were quite polite in allowing themselves to be pet and admired.
With our little visits ending on this note, we promised to see everyone again soon out at the farm!