This week, another twin mummy and I decided to go along to a local farm for a toddler story and craft session. We had a fab day out, petting smaller animals, feeding goats, running off steam in the play barn and picnicking in the enclosed play area. Without being too much of a teacher about it, it’s hard not to see all the benefits of a farm trip like this.
Here are just a few things my girls took away from our visit.
1) How to run in wellies
This may sound silly but Emily especially can be a bit clumsy on her feet and being a bit of a later walker, she’s still developing this skill. Farms are a great chance for her to practise running on uneven surfaces and from gravel to grass. We had a few stumbles but luckily no tears. I also find the welly run particularly adorable.
2) Animal welfare
Ask my pair the name of a baby horse or cow and the answer will roll off their tongue but they wouldn’t have a clue how to look after an animal. We don’t have pets and nor do any of my close friends and family so watching animals and their keepers up close gives us a great opportunity to talk about what animals need and how we should care for them.
Although my girls are pretty outgoing, put them near an animal that’s bigger than them and it’s not surprising they are cautious. This is good. Obviously I wouldn’t want them to get hurt. That being said, family farms are generally a pretty safe place to build confidence with animal in the knowledge that these animals are used to being stroked and fed by little ones. After a little encouragement and mummy having a go, they both got hands on with snakes, rats and goats.
Especially during peak times, the fun farm activities are usually in high demand. Having lots of toddlers all wanting to stroke, feed or join in with an activity is a recipe for meltdowns. The lady running the toddler lamb session was a star. What do they say – never work with animals or children. She was doing both. On this occasion a bit of distraction and reminders of manners was enough. I try and take every chance I get to encourage turn taking as it’s such an important skill they need, even more so being a twin.
Finally, you can’t avoid the numerous hand washes required during a farm visit. I try and be as relaxed as I can about hygiene but when you’re petting animals, it’s good for my little ones to know why they need to wash their hand again. When one is tasting gravel and the other sucking the animal fencing, I’m pretty sure this was pointless but at least I tried.
Unfortunately, this was the last story/craft session for the season but Toddler Tuesday has been so popular they are freezing the £5 adult and toddler price until July. Check out this great farm. Such a fab price and you can make a whole day of it with your toddlers.
Manor farm and Woodlands, Castle Hill, East Leake, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 6LU