11 Ways Kids Benefit From Farm Visits

As a parent, you want your kids to enjoy and make the most of their youthful years. And so you strive to keep them grounded by limiting the time they spend using gadgets and urging them to spend more time outdoors to socialize with others or immerse themselves in nature. Some parents may take their children for backyard picnics and walks in the park. Meanwhile, others tend to be more adventurous and allow their kids to tag along when they’re backpacking, hiking, or going camping.

11 Ways Kids Benefit From Farm Visits

However, one activity that most parents may have never tried with their kids before is visiting a farm. Read on to find out why this particular option is worth considering.

Benefits Of Farm Visits For Your Kids

Perhaps some of you haven’t even thought about doing this until today. Many children think of farms as magical places, especially since they rarely encounter one in the city. They’ll be able to see entire fields of fresh fruits and vegetables, farm animals of various shapes and sizes, large vehicles and equipment used for farming, and farmers plowing the field.

Being on a farm can trigger a child’s curiosity, making them more eager to try things they never get to do in urban areas. Nowadays, some farms offer all sorts of activities kids and families can do together when they visit. You’ll also find cornfields that have been turned into mazes by companies like Mazeplay and allow visitors to challenge themselves with games while exploring.

Farm visits will not only bring fun to kids and families but also provide the following benefits they may not get elsewhere:

1. Understand How Food Production Works

If your kids have been living in the city for a while or since birth, they probably have no idea about where the food they eat comes from. At some point, one of them might ask you how milk is produced or how carrots, watermelons, or potatoes are grown. Even if it’s been discussed in their classes or you’ve told them a bit about farms, your children may still have limited understanding of the subject. Perhaps they’ve only seen farms in books, in online videos, or on TV shows.

Taking your kids for farm visits can expand their understanding of food production. From there, they’ll witness how fruits and vegetables are planted, taken care of, harvested, and ultimately prepared for distribution. They’ll also see how chickens lay eggs, how farmers get milk from cows, and how they feed rabbits, horses, and sheep. Most importantly, your kids will witness how much hard work farmers do every day to keep the whole place running. Once they discover how farms and food production work, your kids will start to appreciate their food more. Some might even be encouraged to create their own vegetable garden at home.

2. Learn The Importance Of Teamwork

Farming isn’t a one-person job. It’s something that a group of people should contribute to in order for it to be successful. Usually, farmers consist of different families working together to tend the field, take care of the animals, and help one another with various tasks, especially during the planting and harvesting seasons.

As your kids witness other people farming, it’s an excellent way to teach them the value of teamwork and how everyone has an important role to play so that the farm will thrive. With this lesson, your kids may also understand now why you always emphasize the importance of sharing household chores.

3. Exercise Their Motor Skills

As mentioned, farm visits are among the most enjoyable outdoor activities you can do with your kids. It’s almost the same as hiking, but the difference is that you won’t be going through the woods or climbing a mountain but rather walking on open fields. With so many things your kids can do during farm visits, you can guarantee they’ll get a lot of exercise out there. They can freely run around, explore the corn maze, climb trees or hay pyramids, or ride their bikes across different fields.

But aside from providing plenty of playtime, farm visits can help boost your children’s motor skills. Motor skills involve anything that urges your child to use their muscles. Some of the activities that stimulate your children’s motor skills are the following:

- Picking fruits and vegetables
- Petting or feeding farm animals
- Climbing on a hay bale
- Riding a horse
- Figuring out corn mazes
- Brushing a horse

Overall, there are so many activities on the farm that'll allow your children to practice their motor skills during their visit.

4. Use Their Sensory Skills

Imagine if the only exposure your kids have to farms is watching videos about them. They may pick up some relevant information about farms, but they won't get to experience them with their five senses. Bringing your children for farm visits gives them an opportunity to genuinely learn about farms and feel what it’s like being on one by using their senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. With their sense of sight, they can see the breathtaking beauty of open fields, green grass, colorful fruits hanging on trees, and farmers hard at work in the fields and the barn. With their sense of hearing, your kids can listen to the different animals around them, the machines used for harvesting, and even their footsteps as they step on dry leaves. Through their sense of smell, they'll discover how farms can be a bit stinky sometimes due to the combination of manure, dead fruits, fertilizers, and flowers.

With their hands, your kids can use their sense of touch to figure out which animals have the smoothest or thickest hair. Finally, with their sense of taste, your children can try the fresh fruits they get to pick on the farm and figure out which one is their new favorite.

5. Improve Their Problem-Solving Skills

Like previously mentioned, a popular activity kids can do during farm visits is solving corn mazes. Letting your children have this kind of experience will not only encourage physical activity but also improve their problem-solving skills. Some farms incorporate trivia questions in every corner and maze stop to make the experience trickier and more exciting.

The maze itself will require your kids to use their problem-solving skills as well as they decide which way to go next. Some kids use maps, while others just go for the trial-and-error method. Either way, this activity will surely do your children’s physical and mental health a world of good.

11 Ways Kids Benefit From Farm Visits

6. Become More Responsible

There are numerous things your kids can do when visiting a farm. They can volunteer to help water the plants, harvest some ripe fruits and vegetables, give the animals something to eat, or brush the horses. Some farms allow children to get involved in certain tasks, while others may only let farm visitors watch and observe how the farm runs.

If you take your kids to farms that allow children’s participation, encourage them to take on the tasks available to them. This will teach them the essence of being responsible and finishing their assigned duties on time.

7. Increase Their Love And Appreciation For Nature

With all the exposure and activities your kids get to do on a farm, sooner or later, they’ll learn to love and appreciate nature more. As you bring your kids for farm visits every chance you get, they’ll grow up having more respect not only for nature but for farm life, too.

This greater appreciation will come from the knowledge and understanding they’ll get from seeing farmers working under the sun’s heat, taking care of plants well, and harvesting them when the time’s right. Being aware of those people’s hard work will leave your children in awe of nature’s wonders and make them grateful for the food they eat every day.

8. Develop A Love For Animals

Aside from plants being cultivated, your children will get to see the beauty of animals and become aware of their importance to humanity. As you let your kids take care of farm creatures by feeding, grooming, or simply petting them, they’ll learn to love, respect, and appreciate them. Their interaction with animals will also teach them about animals’ eating habits and the proper ways to take care of them.

Most importantly, the more you let your child pet or feed animals, the more they develop a sense of empathy. They’ll become more thoughtful as they wonder if the rabbits and horses are hungry or whether the cows and sheep like being stroked. Ultimately, your kids will become more considerate of the feelings of every creature they encounter in their life, all thanks to farm visits.

9. More Detailed Story Time

Some parents read bedtime stories to their kids as they tuck them into bed. Doing this can help stimulate their imagination and concentration. Perhaps one of your bedtime stories talks about farm life, or the characters you use are animals often seen on farms. How about you take your storytelling to the next level by going on a farm visit and reading your kids a story there? Once at the farm, you can spread a blanket on the grass and tell them a tale that has to do with farm animals or that takes place on a farm. Doing this can help your child connect with nature and enjoy the story even more.

10. Be Introduced To Scientific Concepts

Some farms offer learning experiences for kids, specifically about science. They organize activities that may include the study of agriculture, horticulture, and poultry farming. Planting and growing vegetables and fruits involve many science concepts as well, which is something your kids can definitely use in school.

There are even farms that allow visitors to participate in the production of cow milk. You can let your child learn how to properly milk a cow and observe how the liquid is processed from there. All these hands-on experiences can offer information that your kid may not really understand if they merely read about it in a book.

11. Exploration And Discovery

Not all farms have the same plants or animals. This means that every farm visit you do with your children is a new opportunity for exploration and discovery for them.

For instance, some farms only focus on planting fruits, be they apples, watermelons, or mangoes, among others. Other farms tend to focus on rice, corn, or vegetables. Meanwhile, there are farms that may only have an open field filled with different kinds of flowers. Visiting all kinds of farms will help your child become acquainted with different aspects of nature.

Activities Children Can Do During Farm Visits

After learning the plethora of benefits you and your kids can get from regular farm visits, now it’s time to find out the things you can do while you’re there enjoying the outdoors. There are so many activities to choose from, and all of them will allow your family to get some exercise and give you opportunities to bond with your kids and make lasting memories.

Over the years, more farms have increased the number of activities they offer since more people have discovered the enjoyment they can get from spending time in such places. Don’t worry as there’s enough variety for every family member that’ll keep them occupied the entire day. What’s more, most of these can’t be done in the city, so there’s absolutely no room for boredom once you’ve stepped foot on the farm of your choice.

- Picking Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Let your children pick which fruits or vegetables are ripe enough for harvesting. In doing this, make sure one of the farmers is with you so they can teach your kids how to harvest fruits and vegetables properly.

- Pulling Out Weeds
If you and your children get to do this, explain to them that some plants (like weeds) can be harmful to and toxic for other plants. This’ll help them realize how important the seemingly simple task of weed removal is when taking care of plants.

- Feeding The Animals
This’ll allow your children to know what different animals eat on a daily basis.

- Milking Cows
Although not all farms offer this activity, you may still be able to do it at some point. Letting your kids observe or even try to milk a cow can teach them the effort it takes to harvest and process milk before it’s poured into their glass at home.

- Fixing Things
If your child is big enough to do this, you can let them participate in doing mild work around the farm. They might be able to help repair a fence or build a chair with someone’s assistance. Ask the people on the farm if there are similar activities that are suitable for kids.

The Bottom Line

One of the best ways you and your children can bond with nature is by visiting different farms. The more you expose your children to the outdoors, the more they’ll understand why it’s a must to take care of and preserve the environment. This can also result in your kids becoming more empathetic and responsible individuals. So see to it that you do farm visits with the entire family as often as you can throughout the year.

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