Tag Archives: country

Farm Camp (for Kids) Does Exist!

My city boy husband knows I enjoy a good article proving the outdoors and farm life are good for the soul. He recently forwarded me “What City Kids Can Learn On My Farm,” by Larissa Phillips. She is a former Brooklynite turned upstate farmer. She shares the joys of seeing her own children working and playing on their family’s farm. She even shares the experience with city kids and their parents offering a place to stay and the opportunity to do jobs on the farm.

Earlier this year my parents volunteered to take our two oldest boys for 16 days while I recovered from my last birth. My parents own a small farm in northeast Ohio, and every summer we road trip there to stay on the farm. However, this year we couldn’t all travel with the new baby so the boys travelled with their grandparents back to Ohio.

Each day, my mother sent photos of what the kids were doing. My parents are both former educators — they like routine and follow a more strict parenting style. Loving, but firm is a good way to put it. The boys love it and seem to thrive. 

A typical schedule looks like this:

  • – Wake up: make beds, get dressed & take clothes to the laundry 
  • – Breakfast & brain exercises (my mom loves work books)
  • – Outside play till Papa gets back from the golf course
  • – Jobs: cleaning the barn, feed/water the cows, weed or pick veggies out of the garden, mow the lawn, paint the barn, sweep the garage, etc.
  • – Lunch time
  • – Go for a bike ride or hike in the woods
  • – Jobs (cont.): fix the cars, air conditioner or something else that broke
  • – Cousin time at the playground in the back yard 
  • – Downtime reading in the hammock 
  • – Dinner
  • – Bath & TV: they are allowed to watch something they typically watch at home or they watch Gunsmoke with Papa
  • – Bedtime in the basement (boys only!)

Can you imagine how tired kids would be after this schedule? Absolutely pooped! In bed by 8:30 p.m. and willingly. 

They missed home, but lived it up in Ohio. When they came home to hot Dallas, the good habits continued. My oldest willingly went to our small garden, weeded it and picked all the carrots. I usually have to ask for this. The second oldest usually has to be asked 5x to go outside to ride his bike for some exercise, but since getting back home he does it on his own. 

It is the best experience for everyone. I got some quality time with the baby and the boys got lots of independence and learned excellent life skills and habits on the farm. 

Larissa you are definitely onto something!

My second oldest on the farm

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