Summertime on the farm can be hectic, with few of the “lazy days of summer” many non-farming neighbors may experience. However, this doesn’t mean our kids can’t have fun along the way. Here are fun ideas to involve kids in day-to-day life on the farm.
10. Photo challenge
As a kid, my mom sent me outside with a disposable camera to photo-illustrate a song of my choice. Why not have a family member name their favorite song and challenge your kids to capture photos of how family life illustrates the lyrics? Then, print the pics for a personalized Christmas gift or unique entry in the county fair. Smartphone cameras and these photography tips may be a modern spin on my disposable camera.
9. Science experiments
Ever wonder if a new product or process is making an impact on your farm? Have the kids run an Agriscience Fair project to find out. This FFA Career Development Event is similar to a traditional science fair, but with an agriculture focus. Projects can range from testing tomato plant fertilizers in the family garden to conducting water tests in a lab. Summer is a great time to collect data, so kids can write their report with their agriculture teacher once school starts. This FFA resource page gives start-to-finish advice. If your kids are younger or not interested in a long-term experiment, these 4-H STEM activities could still be fun to try in your backyard.
8. Support local charities
A ninth-grade English teacher started a Kindness Challenge by giving each student $20 to improve someone’s day, and a similar idea could inspire your kids to serve others. Your kids may find simple ways to serve individually, or they may pool their money to build a larger project like organizing neighbors to grow a community garden or donate to The Great American Milk Drive. Encourage them to budget and contact local charities themselves to build leadership skills.
7. Have an “Innovation Day”
Chores can become monotonous, and there may be ways to do them better you haven’t considered. Why not turn chores into a challenge? Turn AgWeb’s $100 Ideas into a kid-friendly event by taking a day for your kids to build an farm-chore invention. Maybe the $100 budget is turned into a “something already lying around” budget. Still, you’re bound to see things in a new light. If kids are coming short on ideas, have a contest with points for who can do chores fastest and most accurately. Chat about what they did differently, and they may find a place needing an invention.
6. Tie-Dye farm clothes
Even chores can be fun with tie-dyed barn clothes. Let the kids gather up the old clothes they already use for chores and experiment with these simple designs. Every farm has an assortment of buckets and string, so you’ll only need to buy the dye. Even if the designs aren’t perfect, chances are the livestock won’t mind.