Field Tripping with Kindergarten

Today was Farm Day in Kindergarten. Packed lunches, yellow school bus, goats, chickens, pigs, cows, you get it. (Technically, it would be goat, cow, pig singularly but it sounded more farm-y if I made them plural). Surprisingly (or not at all) there was no major influx of parent volunteers clamoring to chaperon all the fun. But, then again, they had me.

I was given the role of first aid kit holder (KIIIIIIINDA a big deal, just saying). Which means that although I currently possess the most basic of first responder skills, an out of date CPR card and random prescription drug facts from years ago when my husband went to medic school, I would be able to hand out band aids if needed (thanks Vinny for asking for one, thus defining my necessity). One of the other moms who made easy, fun conversation as we waited for volunteer clearance offered to drive a few of us in her car which made for seriously low stress travel (thanks Ro!).

The farm was small, but run like a prosperous casino, with the farmhands quickly rerouting the overwhelming desire of five year olds to interrupt their presentations with their own tales of animals: one of my favorite lines of the day was “Questions are what we ask when we want to know information. Stories are what we say when we want to tell other people something. Now, do you have a QUESTION?” Three hours were spent looking at and learning about animals while agreeing with many child-told stories that centered on poo – farms have loads of it, in case you weren’t acquainted…

But one part will stick out in my mind as the highlight of the trip; the goat/sheep pen. The helper was describing how the mammals were alike and different, what features they had and why the animals are raised all over the world. After her short speech, she asked the children questions about the animals and invited them to ask her questions they might have. She began by seeing if the kids could think of things that are made by sheep or goats and quickly the kids named wool from sheep and meat, milk and cheese from goats. A little girl’s hand shot up inquiring as to the split hooves and why they were different from the horse and miniature donkey we had just visited. Then a boy asked if they had teats. Thinking this was a great tie in to milk and cheese, the farmhand explained that yes, they did and how some goats are milked by hand and others are milked by a machine. He nodded quietly and a few more questions were asked by the group, with the last question ending on a girl asking if they both had teeth. Yes, the farmhand explained, that is how they eat. The boy from earlier burst out with “THAT IS WHAT I ASKED YOU EARLIER AND YOU STARTED TALKING ABOUT MILKING THEM”.

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