Did you know that kids (and adults) learn best when their senses are engaged? Our farm offers bountiful opportunities to see, smell, touch, taste and hear—to interact with the world in fun and enriching ways. Sensory play helps develop your child’s cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skills. Engaging the senses is also one of the most powerful ways to build memories. So, when you bring your child by for a visit to our farm, you’re doing so much more than just having a great time—you’re helping your child grow and develop in important ways. Here are five ideas for getting more out of your visit.
1) TOUCH. Pet the animals. Climb in the hay. Sift corn kernels through your child’s fingers. As your child experiences the feel of these different objects, ask her to describe what she is touching, e.g., “What does the goat’s fur feel like?” “Is the hay soft or prickly?” “Are the corn kernels squishy or hard?” Older children may better experience touch through physical play—going down our barn slide, climbing the hay mountain or picking apples off the trees.
2) SEE. There is much to see on a visit to our farm. Kids of all ages will love playing “I spy…” or simply soaking in the scenic views. Bring a sketchpad and colored pencils and ask your children to draw something that catches their eyes at the farm.
3) SMELL. Mmmm, the aroma of donuts will have mouths watering in no time. Besides enjoying the delicious smells from our market, ask your children to describe different smells around the farm. What does the hay smell like? What about the goats? Which smells do they like better?
4) TASTE. This might be our favorite sense of all. Donuts, raspberries, pie, apples, cider… indulge your tastebuds. Have your children describe the flavors they are eating. Is the food sweet, salty, bitter or sour? What about the texture?
5) HEAR. Listen to the sounds of our farm. The goats bleating, the wind rustling through the apple trees, the bees buzzing around the raspberry bushes, children laughing, people talking. Encourage your children to pick up on as many different sounds as they can. Ask them what sounds they expected to hear and which may have surprised them.
What are some other ideas you have for encouraging children (and the young at heart!) to explore the world through their senses? We can’t wait to have you visit the farm—come by and tell us what you’re learning!
Psst! Don’t forget–we offer guided tours and events around the farm for groups and parties. Contact us to schedule your visit!