There are few better ways to spend a day as a family than to spend a day at the farm petting animals, collecting eggs, milking goats and exploring nature. We all get a healthy dose of fresh air, build muscles as we run around trying to catch a chicken, and slow down our pace of life by listening to the sound of sheep baa’ing and pig oinking. It’s nature’s therapy.
Before you pack the kids into the car excited about seeing a duck. Here are a few tips for exploring the farm with kids:
1) If it’s a cold day, dress your kids in boots and rain gear and a change of clothes. On a warm day, dress them in clothes they can get wet in so they can cool down. And always dress them in clothes they can get dirty in!
2) Make sure everyone has shoes that have good grip and are closed toed. (Flip flops aren’t great on a farm even if this is Flip Flop Ranch! We risk our toes every day wearing flip flops and we often change into boots for any jobs that might get our toes hurt)
3) Explore with a magnifying glass. On days out with the kids, they just love to get up close and personal. You’d be amazed at what kids can find in the garden with a magnifying glass. Keep an eye out for any bugs that bite or sting!
4) Don’t let the kids climb on equipment or the hay stack. Hay is stacked for safety at pumpkin patches especially for kids to climb on. Our hay is stacked for feeding animals and may topple.
5) There are plenty of interesting activities for 2 year olds and other toddlers on the farm, but never leave a young child to explore the farm on their own. However, feel free to let an older responsible child run around after explaining safety rules to them.
6) Pick up a colorful pocket field guide for the desert so that kids can identify the plants and animals they come across. Become familiar with and teach your kids about any plants or animals that may be dangerous such as cactus.
7) Remind young children to be gentle with the farm animals.
8) Be especially careful around animals with babies, a mother with her young will be protective and she may attack anyone who comes close.
9) After you’ve been around farm animals, be sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap, but don’t be too scared of germs. Farm kids actually have better immune systems and less allergies than city kids!
10) Don’t forget to bring sun protection even on an overcast day where the cloud cover gives an illusion that you’re protected from harmful UV rays.
Do you have anymore tips for farm safety?