Farm Animal Play

It is that time of year again when we think about farming.

The crops are in the field, farmers markets are frequent and we are starting to enjoy eating from our garden.

Farm Animal Play

Our Fold & Go Barn is a favourite toy and is easy to tote along to activities or a day out.

The animals can be stored inside but we have quite a collection now and they have a separate home in a tub.

Fam Animals Play

I threw in a tub of Skinny Sticks too. My theory was the girls would use them as fencing. It didn`t really happen.

I penned in the donkey as so:

Fam Animals Play

They ignored me and organised the animals into groups.

Farm Animals Play

The different sections of the barn were perfect for this activity.

They also re enacted scenes from favourite TV shows and books.

Just goes to prove, yet again, how I play with toys, is very different to the way the flowers engage with an activity.

I can predict how children will interpret a play invitation, but I am often wrong!

Open Farm Day

Our Second Open Farm Day was a few weekends ago here in Manitoba. It is great opportunity to visit farms, take tours, see demonstrations and ask questions. Asking questions is the way of life in our family at the moment. I feel like the encyclopedia of life. Please note I said encyclopedia not Wikipedia; yes I am sometimes a wee bit out of date! So the chance to go visit a few farms and have someone else answer Daisy’s questions seemed like a great idea.

We visited Grenkow Holsteins first and had a wonderful time exploring their dairy farm. I grew up surrounded by farming but had not actually seen round a dairy farm. The robotic milker was fascinating. I was so into it I forgot to take photos so you can see a video here. What can I say; I am a farm nerd! I was the one asking a lot of questions and the farm workers and volunteers were well equipped to answer everything I asked.I learned about how the milker works, how often the cows are milked, how often they are bred and what information the farmer can glean from the robotic milker. Daisy did get a little bored waiting for me.

We visited the calves and cows. Daisy was disappointed the cows did not want to be petted. We discussed the feelings the cow may be having and watched how they gained confidence and curiosity the quieter we sat. She loved the calves and her visit to this farm inspired her Rural Municipality box design.

The next farm we visited was Natural Pork. It is a small mixed farm with pigs, cows, chickens, horses and grain. It was a super contrast from the robots, huge modern barns and many cows at Grenkow Holsteins.

Here Daisy is sitting and playing on one of their tractors. We were given a tour of the pig barn.

Both kids loved the pigs although were not into petting them once they realised they felt like brooms!

The newer piglets were able to wander around the yard. While we were in the barn, one piglet signaled the alarm and they all came running for food. They inter changed mama pigs until they found space. Rose had a face off with one of the piglets which we all enjoyed!

This farm concentrated on humane and environmentally friendly methods. It felt like farms I visited as a child. Everything was small scale and the main farmer was able to answer questions – again lots given by me!

These two visits made me understand and empathize better with Daisy. I simply HAD to ask questions because I HAD to know the answer. Just like I just HAVE to google something I don’t know. With the wealth of information at our finger tips we are able to have answers instantly. For a four year old, we as teachers and parents are Google or Wikipedia. We need to give our best answer possible, with understanding or help students find the answer themselves.

Both farms were great places to learn and inspire future learning.

Learning Opportunities:

  • LA: Asking questions
  • Design: Making pens and enclosures (structures)
  • Science: Food hygiene, making butter, solids and liquids, food sources, environment,

Fab Farm Products: