This year we were happily given a whole six weeks of summer camp with our favorite Head Start friends. So far, we are halfway through and are already filled to the brim with lots of farm fun! Between our Tuesday and Thursday groups, we have around forty kids in the program, in addition to all the Head Start staff members who are getting to join in on our activities.
Like last year, our ‘day one’ started not on the farm, but down the street at our neighbor’s house. We offloaded the kids there, only to ‘realize’ we were not on the farm :) So, we had to navigate our way through the woods and up the stream to try to find the farm. Along the way, we splashed, built a small dam, and jumped off fallen trees into the depths.
Eventually, we found our way out of the steam, through a patch of trees, and right to our pond! Our happy explorers crowded onto the benches of our dock to document their progress. Armed with tiny clipboards and colored pencils, we drew maps of our journey.
After all of this hard work, we took time for a well-earned lunch in our homestead barn. With full bellies, we listened to our story The Tale of the Hound Puppies and got to work on the story’s companion activity, painting the puppy fence (with puppies inside!). Naturally, we finished the day on the slip ‘n slide. Everyone went home painted and wet.
On day two, we started the morning with some time in the hay play stall, where we swung from ropes, slid down our slide, and petted the cow through the window. From here, we read our lovely story Silly Stormur and Goofy Garpur which ends with the challenge to find all the horse and people clothes that these two horses left scattered EVERYWHERE. We patrolled the nearby arboretum, found the lost items, and had a quick round of dress-up.
That afternoon, we took time to love all of our animals, brushing the horses and goats and petting our chickens and puppies. The day concluded as we ran through our super-duper-crazy-extreme obstacle course, which consisted of a haybale mountain, climbing fences, hoops to crawl through, the ‘laser beams’ and a sprinkler.
Most recently, we have just finished our amazing third day of summer camp. This was our observation day. In the morning, we prepared for a hike through the property. In order to blend into our surroundings, we camouflaged our faces with face paint markers. Surely this would keep the animals from spotting us before we got a chance to see them, right? The adults in our groups each were equipped with a clipboard for notetaking. The kids dictated to us what they had observed, what color it was, how it sounded, where it was, etc. At the end of the hike, we circled up to share our observations.
After lunch, we did the ultimate observation game: hide ‘n seek! This was not any ordinary hide ‘n seek game, of course. We played in small groups in the arboretum, finding secret spots under the droopy trees, in the long grass, and behind the bushes. It was surprisingly hard to find everybody, even with June and Greta the dogs hiding alongside us.
Another three weeks to go!