The wonderful children and staff from Badsey First Holiday Club came to the farm today and had the most glorious Autumn weather. An improvement on their very wet summer holiday visit!
After the health and safety talk I split the group into teams. Each team was given a bucket and asked to fill it with items from nature during our farm walk. They took the instruction literally and the buckets were overflowing, infact half way through the walk we left them on the side of a field to be picked up later, as they were too heavy.
We went into the orchard to pick up fallen cooking apples and acorns. Whilst looking at the cows water trough an apple was ‘accidentally’ dropped into the water. The children were quick to realise that throwing apples into water is good fun, as they quickly float back to the surface.
At the end of the farm walk we went into the play wood and used the items in the bucket to create an Autumnal tree. Then after lunch the children used the collected cooking apples and acorns plus some conkers to make Halloween spiders. As the sun was shining still we headed out into the play wood for a long play with lots of mud.
All of Year 2 from St Andrews CE School came out to the farm this week. Our topic was fur, feathers and fins with Autumn and habitats mixed in. After the health and safety talk, the children told me about their topic and were very animated when they told me about salmon. I became even more animated, as I have been fortunate enough to see salmon and bears in Alaska which I told the children about.
I showed the children a selection of feathers I have found on the farm and later on the farm walk the children collected their own feathers. I also showed the children a stuffed buzzard which most (!) of the children were fascinated by.
After snack the children went on a nature collection walk and at the end of the walk the children used their nature items to make habitats for some rubber ducks. The diversity of leaves, feathers, seeds and flowers was amazing. Autumn is a great time for a farm trip. As the weather was so good, one group even managed to do some pond dipping.
Later on in the play wood, a couple of children carried on with the topic, picking up feathers and birds feet (!) left from the buzzards kill.
The lovely ‘Cats’ class from Cropthorne-with-Charlton CE First school came to the farm today. Our topic today was about ‘harvest’ from the farm. We started the morning discussing the different foods which are sourced from dairy cows and at lunchtime the children were offered samples of red, green and blue topped milk. Green was the most preferred. Our discussion moved on from dairy cows to Autumn and the children told me the things they expected to see on the farm in September.
At the start of our farm walk, we looked at the wheat grains in the farm shed, ready to feed the calves in the morning. We thought about why we didn’t see any yellow wheat plants out in the fields and why the yellow straw is so useful.
We then split into five teams. Each team had a bucket and were challenged to fill the bucket with lots of items from nature. The children were fantastic at finding interesting leaf shapes, grass heads, hedgerow berries and acorns. In the orchard we looked at the fruit trees and found different sized and varying colours of apples and pears. The children enjoyed picking the almost black ‘Worcester Black’ pears.
After lunch the five teams were challenged to use the materials in the play wood and the contents of their buckets to make a picture of a tree. The results were fantastic and a really good activity for the children and the competitive adults!
I had a really lovely afternoon with a group of ‘nuture hub’ pupils from a local primary school. We spent a very relaxed afternoon on an autumn farm walk, collecting items from nature. It was a great opportunity for the children to learn whilst doing, take the activity at their own pace and have time away from the confines and busy atmosphere of school. The staff attending took the opportunity to observe the children in a new environment with an unknown adult (me!).
The lovely early years and reception children from Dormer House School, came out to Sandfield Farm today. The weather was perfect. The children were very good when it came to thinking of ideas of what might be dangerous on a real farm. We had a lovely walk, through the long grass to look at the wild bird mix cover crop. The children were very good at finding small seeds for the small birds and large seeds for the large birds. We then walked through the wheat stubble and heard the sound of the stubble crunching underneath are feet.
The children were fascinated by the hole dug by the badgers looking for beetles, worms and slugs. Later in the day we found another hole made by the badgers for their latrine! Once in the field with the calves, the children were excellent at standing still and quietly, they loved the challenge of seeing how close the calves would come to them. The children found it hard to believe that the animals infront of them were only calves, rather than fully grown cows.
As the weather was so wonderful we thought we would see which creatures we could catch in the pond. Most of the mini beasts caught in the pond were waterboatmen. As we walked back for lunch we looked at the different berries in the autumn hedgerow.
The children loved the mud in the playwood after lunch.
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Please note telephone number for Sandfields Farm Ltd, the salad grower, is 01386 555054