In the second half of summer camp, we got even deeper into the farm fun. On their fourth visit, the kids helped out around the farm. There was oh-so much to be done. Spending about ten minutes at each station, we took time to work in all different areas of the farm
To help out Miss Joy with the animals, we added stone dust to the chicken pen, raking it out using our miniature pitchforks, and checked on the horses’ hay supply by playing in our hay playground.
To help Mr. Jeff with the maintenance, we collected errant stones to construct a stone wall, practiced using hammers and screwdrivers in the workshop, and did a maintenance check on all the machinery. We cycled through these different activities, bettering the farm with each rotation.
When the afternoon came along, we cleared a trail, turning fallen limbs into walking sticks for our next adventure: walking the puppies! Releasing them from their pen, the puppies took us on a romp around the property which ended up back at the barn. Here, we discovered paint and decorated our walking sticks. With all the work on the farm now done, we put the kids back on the bus for a nap!
The following week, our Head Start friends enjoyed a day centered around our horses. In the morning, we played follow the leader all around the farm, with the alternating leader taking his or her place atop the horse. In this way, we revisited our favorite exploration trails, ventured by the pond, and discovered new bits of property.
In the afternoon, we gathered our horse friends back up for some finger painting. With the horses as our canvases, the kids created wonderful works of art, complete with handprints, polka-dots, and rainbows. When the art time was over, we took the horses out to the spigots for a bath.
On the last day of summer camp, we spent the day down at the stream. The kids arrived at the farm to say one last goodbye to all the animals before taking a tractor ride across the street to our Coffee Hollow trail. Here, we began down the trail in search of the most fantastic stream exploration spot. After a nice long walk, we found it, complete with tiny waterfalls, great rock hunting spots, miniature swimming holes, and the best natural water slide on record.
After a morning spent in the stream, we all gathered around Miss Joy’s perfect campfire to warm up during lunch. Following the toasting of the marshmallows, we read our new story The Worry Stone (as detailed in a previous blog). This story led into our final activity of summer camp: searching for our own worry stones to take home.
These worry stones were sent home with a little card reading
Here’s your little worry stone
For when you’re feeling all alone.
Keep it close, rub it smooth
and your feelings will be soothed.
We hope that in addition to being a great keepsake from the farm, these stones will help ease any worries about starting kindergarten!