With winter’s chill in the mountain air, the school buses stopped ferrying our preschool ‘friends’ between the Head Start classrooms and our farm. Not wanting them to forget their friendly farm people and animals, we took up our pens to write some letters, around 240 in fact. These notes were written inside folded colorful paper on which the children did leaf rubbings during one of their fall visits. These letters served to remind them of their recent farm visits, tell them how much we miss them, and alert them of our upcoming classroom visits.
Carrying out the promises of these letters, we farm folk headed down route 15 several times a week all winter, taking with us all the portable farm fun we could manage. For our first round of visits, Joy started our time together with her new story Stormur Goes to School, in which she tells the story of Stormur’s and her time at a recent riding clinic. After this, we had four centers for our ‘friends’ to cycle through during our hour visit. First, out in the hallway (or outside on sunnier days) we had our rolly hobby horses for the kids to ride on. In the classroom, we had our “build-a-farm” felt board, complete with farmers, farm animals, barns, fences, brushes and tack. At one of the tables, we spread out our farm games, which included mazes, a tracing exercise, and a connect-the-dots drawing. Last, we had a dress-up center, filled with all the makings of little cowboys and cowgirls.
For our second round of visits, we read our story Count around the Farm (see earlier post). After that, we surprised the kids with some unexpected visitors: Tucker and the rabbits, Oreo and Nugget. After meeting these furry animals, we moved on to the crawly kind: plastic bugs who hid in a box of beans. After discovering all of these six and eight legged friends, we got out some energy as we ran and hopped and crawled through our obstacle course.
Our third and final set of visits starred another set of animals: the goats! Our old story Flint’s Great Adventure, served as a prelude to our goats’ arrival with everyone bundling up in their coats to head outside to see if their old friends Flint and Arrow really did come to visit. Once outside, we took turns going through three stations: leading the goats around an obstacle course while riding on our pool noodle horses, fishing for felt fish with a magnetic bamboo fishing rod, and playing Snudder Says (our farm version of Simon Says, named for one of our horses). When we had some extra time, we nabbed a rope from our obstacle course and had a few lively rounds of tug of war!
With our winter visits thus concluded, we all excitedly await the upcoming spring adventures when our farm will once again be enlivened by our preschool friends.