Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Preschool Days at the Farm

Having a preschool aged child here four days a week can sometimes be a challenge, but I believe yesterday we had one of the most delightful days. I know many parents are wondering what they can do with their preschool child and so I wanted to give some simple tips.

Living on a small hobby farm gives us a few more options than if you live in town, I assume. There are always animals that need to be cared for and things that need done, but many of those jobs involve places that a young child should not be or working with tools or materials that a young child should not be exposed too.

Our day began yesterday with breakfast of course since she arrives around 7:15. We are not hearty breakfast eaters during the week, but usually a sausage biscuit is the choice of the day. Thankfully, I have found that Pillsbury makes frozen biscuits that my family will eat so I am not making biscuits each morning.  I highly suggest that all preschool age children have a breakfast that doesn't start with sugary items. 

Next, I had to go to work at my in-laws and she goes over to play with her great grandpa. He still gets along quite well and insists that he feeds the horse and calves each morning. She loves to go to the barn with him so it was decent out yesterday so off they went. Here is a tip for those struggling with activities. If you have a friend that lives where there are animals, ask if you could bring your child along for a morning routine. Not only will they be occupied, but you will find that it gives them an opportunity to learn. 

The rest of the morning, her time was spent playing by herself or with her great grandpa. I stayed busy with getting the items done that I needed to do. Usually she is someway attempting to help me, but not yesterday. I enjoy the times she plays by herself and I highly recommend that children be given time to play freely without electronics so that they might develop an imagination. 

Once we went back home, it was time for lunch. She eagerly helps with cooking when she can. There are so many opportunities for them to help in the kitchen. She will stir foods, help bake cookies or cakes, wash dishes or rinse (yes, we still do by hand). She will also sweep with her toddler broom and she can feed the dog and the outside cat. Another tip for moms, allow them to help. Toddlers are full of energy and they are old enough to learn to help around the home. 

Once lunch was finished, we put on our rubber boots, or muddy puddle boots as she calls them, and we went for a walk outside. Another tip, children love to be outside if we encourage it. Take them for a walk, allow them to get in the mud puddles ( small ones), play in the dirt, explore nature. Our nature walks consist of picking up leaves, rocks, etc. Sometimes we use these items later for crafts. Talk about the birds, insects, squirrels, etc. 

Of course, our nature walks can be a little more exciting as we have plenty of wooded areas around us, but anywhere you can let them be outside you should be able to find something that will interest them. Muddy puddles or just wet puddles are always fascinating. (A quick tip for parents, your child will not die if they get wet or a little muddy.) 

After our walk, it was time to begin prep for dinner. Off we went to the kitchen and put on our aprons and starting preparing dinner together. I was making a meatloaf so there were many things that she could do. Moms, give them items that they can do in the kitchen when prepping a meal. Things like mixing foods together, adding something to the bowl or pan, help with dishes. She placed the sauce in the bowl, added the onions that I cut up, crumbled the crackers for me, and even mixed the meatloaf. Once we placed it in the pan, we added potatoes around the sides of the pan. She was able to add the oil to them that I put in a small container with the right amount and spices. She then placed the potatoes in the pan. 

Once the meal was prepped, there were dishes. So I put some soapy water in the sink and gave her a dishcloth. She pulled her stool over and we washed dishes. Yes, I had to rewash some items and I could not let her do the knives, but she was helping and that was all that mattered. Plus, she was learning as well. We counted bubbles in the sink, we counted bowls that we were washing, we talked of colors, etc. Plenty of learning opportunities!

Once that was done, she fed the dog and the outdoor cat. She knows where the food is and how much to give them and can do that by herself. She is good about making sure they both have water as well. That simple chores saves me a few minutes each day to do something else. We also had towels that needed washed, so she helped with laundry. Tip: Moms, the kids can add clothes to the washer, take clothes from the dryer, and even help fold clothes,especially towels. 

After all of that, I wanted to sweep the kitchen without her help so I did let her get on YouTube to watch a video while I swept. Honestly though, I highly recommend that all preschoolers have a broom set to help with cleanup. Kids feel quite a bit of accomplishment when you can tell them that they have been helpful. Plus, they are learning that we must clean up. We have to train our children because we are their best teachers.

Once we finished those items, we put aside the electronics and read a book. I am finding that her tastes are changing often as to what she wants to read. I am also wanting her to broaden her love for reading and find many new books and styles of writing as well. Any preschool mom needs to have access to a wide variety of books and magazines. Take a trip to the local library or a small bookstore that welcomes children. Spend time there and offer books from different authors, of different styles, etc. Fairy tales, fables, books based on animals, books based on their favorite characters are always a great place to start. We read several books a day as well as magazines. Right now, she loves dinosaurs so I am always looking for several books about dinosaurs. 

As you ca see, there are plenty of activities to keep a child busy that do not involve a lot of preparation or that you must spend money on. Keep them busy with learning activities. Make each day a learning experience!

4 comments:

  1. I was raised on the farm and some of my favorite memories are with the animals. So much to learn there! Have a blessed and beautiful day dear friend, HUGS!

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  2. What a delightful day of learning your preschooler had! I love how you integrated learning into every part of the day, what a blessing you are to this sweet little one! Definitely having a farm with little chores that need to be done are a great way to teach a child to work and not much electronic time is needed with all the busy work that needs to be done. Enjoyed your post today :) Blessings and best wishes for a wonderful new year :)

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  3. You are giving your granddaughter and excellent education!!

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  4. Thanks everyone! I enjoy sharing the activities around here with her. There are days that I stop and think how blessed I am to share these things with her and how we can make learning fun instead of so much "work"

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