31 Jul Summer Holidays On The Farm
If you are anything like me then although you are happy to have your babies home for the next 6 weeks, you are also dreading having to constantly dream up ways of keeping them occupied whilst also making their holiday special. You want to build memories with them and ensure that they have a fun break, but you don’t have the budget to be taking them out a couple of times a week.
It can be really tough, especially when you see on social media all the fun holidays families are having and all the exciting places that people are visiting.
This time of year, as we all know, is super busy and stressful for the farming community. Harvest is upon us and as you think of the weeks ahead you soon realise that there isn’t a lot of time for days out. That being said you don’t want your children to miss out!
Another factor is the issue of money. Days out and holiday’s can really burn a hole in those overall pockets, but you don’t need to stress because all the fun you need is right on your doorstep…You live on a farm!!
There are so many adventures to be had and discoveries to be made right outside and I’m going to give you just a few ideas to get you started… Enjoy your summer everyone and please do send me your pictures if you give any of my ideas a go!
Go On a Bear or Gruffalo Hunt
This has to be my boys’ most favourite thing to do on the farm and you can be as imaginative as you want to be!
We have a couple of woods on our farm and I take the boys and the dogs up and we try to track down a bear or a Gruffalo.
BEAR HUNT –
Jump over streams “Uh Oh a river! A deep cold river…”
Journey through what all farms have a lot of…”Mud! Thick oozy mud”
And fight your way through branches “A forest! A big, dark forest”
Whilst reciting the words to this famous children’s book as you go.
Think of a place on your farm that looks like it could house a bear and make sure you end up there! I usually use the excuse that the bear must be out getting his tea and that’s why he isn’t home!
GRUFFALO HUNT – This one uses a bit more imagination but again, a walk around the woods or an overgrown area should give you enough to work with.
I find that snagged wool on the branches makes for good Gruffalo hair, where he must have scratched his back! Any sort of animal poo could be mistaken for Gruffalo poo, I mean it doesn’t describe that in the book! And any flattened areas, or big trees with a hollow bottom must be where he sleeps!
We’ve also enjoyed a fairy hunt too! Holes in tree’s make the perfect fairy home, and fast moving flying insect are perfect for “Did you see that fairy!?” surprises.
All kids like a picnic.
Big or small. Living room floor on a horrible day or in the field watching Dad whilst the sun shines. A simple picnic that includes Tupperware stuffed into shopping bags for transportation and a blanket on the floor, or a professional picnic with cushions and wicker baskets, it really doesn’t matter!
Make a swimming pool
This is something that we have only dabbled in on a small scale, using Visqueen Sheeting, a ratchet strap and a tractor tyre. It worked, for like half an hour before the water pushed into the hollow of the tyre too much and it collapsed! But, it was perfect when my boys were small and good for grown-ups to sit on and dip their toes in!
I’d love to try the big ones that you see made out of bales and silage sheets, they look awesome! Maybe you have? Comment below to let us know how you did it!
Also, plastic sheets make great slip and slides too!
You’ve got plenty of field options so why not go camping? Or maybe you are a wuss like me and would prefer to stick to the back garden!
Pitch up, fill the tent with torches and crisps and sweets and books. Light a little fire outside (responsibly) and get the marshmallows on. Hell, you could even get the guitar out if you’re blessed with musical ability!
This one is a good one if you have several farm kids, but if you don’t then don’t fear, maybe you could get some friends over and have a sports day!
Get your kids to make their own rosettes maybe the day before, so that the activity can be dragged out over another day, and have running races, obstacle races, egg and spoon races, sack(or feed bag) races, and whatever else you can think of using the items you have around the house or farm.
Speaking from experience I’d advise that an adult judges… You know how it ends if you leave them to sort the winners from the not quite fast enough (Hate the word losers!).
Now I’m not saying that you should always use your kids to get your jobs done but gardening is technically fun as well as important!
Plant some flowers together, get out the ride on lawn mower (all kids like the ride on!), or pick some flowers for the house. You could even make your own bug hotel or bird feeder.
Why not try to see how many different types of insects, birds and other wildlife you can attract this summer by planting bee and butterfly friendly flowers and creating homes with sticks and leaves. Get a notebook, take pictures and draw what you find, stick them all together in the notebook and you’ll be able to look back at all of your discoveries, you could even make a new book each year and compare your findings!
Plant a veg patch
Another perfect way to teach your children about where food comes from. You might already have veg patches but has your child been involved with the whole cycle? From planting the seed, tending to it and watching it grow, to the end when they can pick it themselves and enjoy eating what they’ve grown?
It really is quite a special feeling, and is especially lovely for those with smaller ones who are just at that ‘spongey age’ where they’re soaking everything up.
Jobs on the farm
What farm kid doesn’t like to help out on the farm?
I’ve found that with my two and four year old just little things like sweeping the yards, filling up water buckets and topping up feed really makes them feel like they’re helping. Even giving them a stick (or blue pipe) makes them feel like a crucial part of the team!
Invite Their Friends Around
Why not invite some of your children’s friends around for a farm tour and to meet the animals? There’s nothing they like more than showing off their animals after all!
Build a Treehouse/Den
When Farmer Ben and his little brother Tom were young they went down into one of the wooded areas on the farm and they made a den.
This suits the older kids more and if they put their all into it, the build could occupy them all summer. They can be as inventive as they like with pulley systems and rope ladders, kitchens areas and bedrooms!
And if they do a good job, like Farmer Ben and Brother Tom, twenty years later it could still be standing!
Put Up a Tree Swing
Got a big tree with the perfect branch? There’s only one thing for it… Get some rope and a tyre, or even a good sized plank/log and make a swing!
End a Hectic Day With a Popcorn & Movie Night!
And what better way to end a fun filled day on the farm than settling down with a bowl of popcorn and a family film!
Mum can relax with a glass of something bubbly. Farmer (if he’s there) with a cold can of something and just mong out!
Have some ideas to add that I haven’t thought of? Maybe you do something on your farm that’s been really successful at keeping the kids busy? I’d love for you to add it in the comments below!
Have a happy summer, full of amazing memories whatever you do!
If you take on any of my ideas then id love to see them! You can them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org