Over the course of this last year, I’ve been doing my best to teach my kids the importance of eating healthy and buying only “good” food. My kids and I have been to several farmer’s markets together, they see me choosing Organic foods at the store and I do what I can to explain where foods we eat come from. We’ve been blessed to find a great farmer that’s close enough to order pork and beef from throughout the year, as we need it. So, this last week, when my son asked if we could play “Farmer’s Market,” I wasn’t quite sure what this “game” would be but it turned into a week-long farm theme of fun.
Now, first thing you need to do (apparently) is line up all your Hotwheels and Matchbox cars and hang up signs saying, “Farmer’s Market” with an arrow. It looks something like this:(if only there was this many people waiting to get to real farmer’s markets)
Then you set up some kid’s tables, which are the farmer’s booths, and then you drag out tons of play food and divide them by fruits, vegetables, meats, breads and dairy products and make it look like this:
You have to have a reusable bag and you can only pay with cash. And then you listen to music, just like at the “real” farmer’s markets. Funny thing was, in the middle of playing this, our farmer called to get our order for how we wanted our 1/2 hog which will be arriving next week. (There’s nothing quite like farm-fresh brats and bacon!) Boy did she get a kick out of hearing what we were playing!
Throughout the week, I would take certain foods and I would explain to the kids where it came from, such as french fries are really peeled and chopped up potatoes, etc. We then took a trip to our library for some new books to read. Some of the ones we read were:
The Berenstain Bears’ Class Trip – They take a trip to a honey farm.
We also watched the All About John Deere for Kids, 4-DVD Collection that my son had received as a gift. (Great gift for kids that love trucks/tractors!)
Another day, we took time to build our own play farm. I found this great farm animal set on Amazon (currently not available) which had 32 pieces for just $6. But you can typically find plastic farm animals at dollar stores/bins. I then picked up two tins at our dollar store. The kids and I then went on a hunt throughout our yard finding grass, rocks, twigs, etc to end up making this:
The duck pond is made from tin foil. This idea came from the book The Ultimate Step-by-Step Kids’ First Gardening Book (which has wonderful ideas in it, by the way.)
I noticed that some of our bird seed had fallen and started to sprout some little plants from the sunflower seeds. So we carefully transplanted some so it would create a look like rows of crops. We took a few matchbox tractors my son had (these are only $1 at many stores) and he spent quite awhile driving the tractors around “harvesting” the crops:
We got real lucky as our farmer’s market was having a special event for Father’s Day and they had tractors and a petting zoo there. The kids loved getting to pet the llamas, goats, chickens and bunnies. They pretended to drive the tractors and I was able to get a picture of them sitting in one of the wheels:
The kids were able to pick out a few things they wanted to buy and it was a really good time. Overall, I was surprised at how much we had been able to do throughout the week for such little money.
I’m hoping that if you are looking for something to do with your kids this week, that you might consider having your own “farm week.” You might not only have fun, but you might also be able to teach your kids where food comes from.