For rural readers who need ideas for kids' farm activities for a variety of reasons -- perhaps you own a farm or work with a farmer, and
want meaningful field trips for schools or simply fun farm activities
for your kids’ visiting friends or cousins.
Other folks interested in kids' farm activities are more business-minded. If your CSA or other
direct-selling farm wants to please potential customers, entertain and
educate their kids. It can work like magic. It can be one of the best forms of
to generate promotion and added revenue to your farm.
A great source of farm revenue:
farm owners (or friends of farmers) have even earned exceptional extra
income by setting up farm activities for kids as a paid summer (or other
seasonal) children's camp or workshop. (If you want to turn on-farm kids’
activities into a profitable day camp business, you may be interested
in our affiliate How to Start a Kids' Summer Day Camp.
It’s for all kinds of camps (swimming, nature, dance, etc.) but
explains the entire process from necessary legal logistics to making
sure your camp/club/school is profitable and filled to capacity).
Favorite farm activities for kids
the pumpkin patches, corn mazes and farm animal petting zoos are all great,
over the years I’ve come across some incredible and unique kids' farm
activities on authentic working farms. Use them to inspire something very unique on your own farm.
Home Sweet Farm in Texas has a thriving small-acreage CSA. Among their
many farm activities for kids, they invite them out for ladybug
releases, learning how ladybugs help organic farms. And, the kids and
their families love the summer heirloom u-pick melon patch.
Living Farm in Colorado raises dairy sheep. Because they will be milked,
dairy sheep authentically need to be handled to get used to humans
while young. Children are invited out to pet and hold the lambs as part
of the lambs' actual spring training.
Lattin Farms in
Nevada is a fifth generational family farm that just happens to have
some certified teachers in the family. They’ve created a series of farm
tours that are very beneficial to school children, and they work
directly with the schools. They include lessons in pollination,
measuring, an alfalfa unit, and various uses of plants. In my own farm’s
case, I teamed up with a certified public school teacher and we created
many farm activities for kids that benefited my farm’s own promotion as
well as his class’s curriculum.
In Washington State, WoodBee
Christmas Tree Farm has numerous farm activities for kids, but my
favorite is a twist on the typical petting zoo. They put antlers on a
(very willing and happy) pony and name him “Randolph, the phony baloney
pony who thinks he’s a reindeer.” He’s quite a legend, and children who
grew up with Randolph return years later with their own kids to visit
the (new) Randolph.
On Prairie Pedlar Farm in Iowa, the owner
has planted theme gardens including a “Kinder Garden” with a plant for
every letter of the alphabet. The owner also has a program for kids aged
8-12 called Green Team where they work in their own gardens in the
morning, learning about planting, weeding, dead-heading, soil,
harvesting, and so on, then break for a snack before they enjoy a
Owners of Terhune Orchards in New Jersey
have set up an outdoor classroom and have seasonal farm activities for
kids. For example, in spring they have a gardening program where kids
dig for subterranean creatures (earth worms) and learn how valuable they
are to the farm. They visit the beehives and plant a miniature garden
they can take home and nurture. In summer they walk the “Farm Trail”
exploring for bugs, and learn the good guys from the bad guys.
Salt Creek Farm in Washington State grows many heirloom potato
varieties. During potato harvest, they hold a potato digging fest for
children. The kids absolutely love digging through the soil for
potatoes. They have as much or more fun as during an Easter egg hunt.