What are farm animals for kids?
Farm animals are animals that are raised and kept for agricultural purposes. They include cows, chickens, pigs, geese and more.
Kids absolutely love farm animals – they’re a staple part of primary school learning, especially in younger kids, and seem to have transfixed children for generations.
The children always have a wonderful time when the owners of a local farm bring in some of their small farm animals to us. The children get to experience a far wider range of creatures, and ones that wouldn’t normally be kept as family pets such as piglets and goats.
It’s important to teach about farm animals for kids and how farms work, for a variety of reasons. For one, it's really important kids know and understand where their food comes from. This can help kids appreciate their meals more, understand the complicated process of how it ends up on their plate, and have some awareness for the issues surrounding this – food doesn’t (all) grow on trees!
Teaching about farm animals for kids is also a good way of introducing kids to wildlife, and explaining that animals all require different types of care and have different needs. This is particularly the case when it comes to things like food, shelter and care – you have to be patient and observant when dealing with animals and their needs, which is an important quality to encourage in children.
Helping kids understand the processes of where food comes from encourages them to be less wasteful, and appreciate that food doesn’t all just come from shops and supermarkets. This level of understanding is really beneficial and can also encourage a greater curiosity for a variety of foods.
Teaching farm animals to kids is also a great opportunity to teach kids about the importance of nature and weather, since farming is affected by this every day and farmers have to work with and round nature to make ends meet. Rain, temperatures, wind and other elements are all hugely important when it comes to farming, and working with nature is key.
Farms are also great for teaching all about safety and being aware of your surroundings – there are lots of animals and equipment, so farms can be potentially risky environments if not treated with respect. This is a good opportunity to help teach your kids to follow important rules and keep their wits about them, behaving responsibly and maturely, as there’s no room for messing about on a farm.
Farms and farm animals can also be a good way of teaching kids all about the circle of life, as this is something that’s encountered on farms regularly.
There’s also a huge benefit in teaching young kids about farms as it can aid their learning and development in plenty of ways. When we’re teaching about farms, animals and the noises they make, we’re also helping kids learn and master their language, phonics and ability to remember names and associate them with correct animals.
Animals are a part of many children’s lives and that’s a good thing because there are some truly amazing benefits of raising kids around animals. Animals large and small love, teach, delight, and offer a special kind of companionship for children and adults.
Benefits of a Farm Visit
Children who learn outdoors know more, understand more, feel better, behave better, work more cooperatively and are physically healthier.
The benefits of a visit extend long beyond the children’s time at the farms – they take their new skills and experiences back home and to school, with parents, careers and teachers seeing positive and lasting impact on their behavior, learning and self-esteem.
Spending time in the countryside can reduce stress and allows children to break free from behavioural challenges. Through the purposeful farming tasks they develop new skills, learn to cope with risks, overcome fears, become increasingly independent, and build a deep sense of confidence in their abilities. From this, their self-belief and self-esteem flourishes and their happiness soars.
Children enjoy a completely different life experience at the farms and addresses the poverty of experience that so many children face. Being immersed in vibrant rural life gives urban and disadvantaged children the opportunity to enjoy many new sensory experiences. The sights, sounds and smells of the farm are all new, as is the freedom to explore, the dark skies full of stars, and the silent nights.
From caring for the livestock to planting crops and tending the land, children take on meaningful responsibilities for running the farm. Working together to overcome challenges, children practice and improve their communication skills, enjoy the benefits of collaboration, and see their peers in a different light as the usual pyramid of achievement is inverted in this practical, spending time on the farm provides children of all abilities with the space and time to succeed. Children experience growth in their personal development, their relationships with others, and their connection with the curriculum.
A visit to the farm provides the opportunity to embed learning and behavioural development in real life situations, whether learning to treat large livestock with sensitivity and respect, calculating the correct spacing for planting seedlings, or identifying solutions to overcome practical problems.
Children exposed to nature do better in school, are better at working in teams, feel better, and are physically healthier. Immersing children in the outdoor world provides schools with the opportunity to extend their broad, rich and deep curriculum through the wide variety of technical tasks, collaborative activities, and immersive experiences.
Children learn how to grow, harvest, prepare and cook nutritious meals, and have the opportunity to taste a wide variety of fresh seasonal produce. Sharing conversations at mealtimes in a warm and nurturing environment allows all children to forge stronger relationships with those around them and to develop healthier food choices.
A visit to the farms immerses children in the rich culture of our heritage sites, working alongside local people whose lives and narratives are connected to the land, and where the innovations of previous generations provide living laboratories in which to inspire young minds.
Immersing children in the natural world provides an analogue experience for children of the digital generation. At the farms, children have the space and opportunity to play and explore outdoors. They forge new friendships and invent games that unlock their imaginations, helping to reduce stress and aggressive behaviour and providing skills to better cope with challenges in later life.