We had a wonderful first day of Farm Sprouts! We experienced cool spring weather, but kept our bodies and hands warm by moving about the farm and holding baby chicks. For many, this was a highlight and the expressions on the children’s faces captured the joy and wonder they were feeling inside.
The farm is a very busy place during the spring season, with many new baby animals being born and joining our farm community, along with all of the fresh sprouts coming up in the gardens and in our greenhouse. We focused the day on seeds and will continue to explore how a seed grows into a plant throughout the program.
We included some Spanish introductions into the program and have begun to learn the words to “Sol solecito,” a song about the sun, as we acted out the life cycle of a seed over the course of a year. It was especially fun to feel the spring rains come down and to be visited by the bees!
Outside in the Children’s Garden, we painted small clay pots for planting next week and are in the process of starting sunflower seeds in toilet paper tubes, which we will check in on and care for in the greenhouse before planting them in the Educational Garden. The preschoolers especially enjoyed the sensory tub of corn and many took a ride on our resident wooden horse.
Along with holding the baby chicks, we also had a chance to take a look at two of the kid goats on the farm. Coming up in the program we’ll visit the rest of the kids, along with “big ones,” as the children said they are looking forward to seeing the larger animals, along with having the chance to milk a goat.
We enjoyed a snack of apple in the apple orchard, taking note of the seeds inside the apple as we sliced them open for all to share. Our snack will be either tasting a fruit or a vegetable and we’ll be on the lookout for seeds as we munch.
We learned that a greenhouse isn’t actually green, but earns its name from all of the green plants growing inside. We used our senses to think and discuss what we were smelling, seeing and feeling, noting the warmth and earthy smell inside.
We went on a short hike to the nearby pond, looking for seeds as we hiked. It was easy to spot pine cones on the way and we settled ourselves onto one of the decks overlooking the pond for nature journaling time. We took a close look at a variety of seeds and children had the chance to begin to experiment with contour drawing, as they imagined the tips of their pens were ladybugs crawling over the outside of the seeds. We will model and practice this style of drawing more as we hunt for plants next week.
We closed by gathering with our goodbye routine to give thanks for the day and to read, “If You Plant A Seed” by Kadir Nelson, which is a beautifully illustrated story about the process of planting seeds to grow plants, in addition to how planting seeds of kindness can benefit all.
The first week was all about getting to know each other and feeling comfortable at the farm. We’re learning the routines of the program and how we can be part of the farm community. We’re already making connections from apple to orchard, from seed to plant to fruit to the table. We look forward to more fun and exploration next Tuesday!