Far from the hustle and bustle of city life, cows are mooing, chickens are clucking and cattle are grazing in the pastures. Sounds like an average day at the farm, there’s a difference though – the guardians of this farm are little preschoolers.
Sounds unusual? It sure is, the prevailing preschool programs typically keep the early learners restricted behind the walls of the classrooms, where they remain distant from the plants and animals or any direct exposure to the basics of the farming process. How are our children supposed to know where milk comes from? How are they supposed to know that pineapple doesn’t grow in a can?
Urban farming bridging the gap
Incorporating urban farming as a preschool activity can help in bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world environment, the preschool development program thus created is an amalgamation that encourages social, physical and cognitive development of preschoolers by means of interaction with animals and plants.
In this day and age of regular digital exposure, getting children involved with nature is a challenge in itself. Early learners get little to no connection with farming life. However, preschool development programs in the best preschools and play school franchises like the ones accredited by QualityKG preschool accreditation use planned activities to help preschoolers discover more about all things farm related.
Urban farming activities
Farming activities can be great for learning how one can take care of a farm and how the farm animals are helpful to us. Children can also learn about different farm animals and their names, they can learn how to identify farm animals by the sounds they make and the food they give us like milk, meat, eggs and wool. By enacting the role of a farmer they also learn who manages the farm and how. Other lessons may include the farm animal’s food like hay and corn.
Samantha a preschool teacher in Houston Texas shared her experience about urban farming activities organized at her preschool – “Our little learners are extremely excited and so are the teachers, we are working together as a big team of teachers and parents to arrange playful hands-on farming activities for the children. We took our little farmers to an urban farm! The farm had a petting zoo and that was the highlight for the junior farmers, they were eager to feed the farm animals. It was a great way to develop their fine motor skills as they had to manipulate their hands and fingers for picking up the hay and seeds.”
Another preschool teacher from West London shared her take on urban farming – “We started with a small garden farm for teaching children how to grow vegetables. Within a span of 8 years it has flourished into a two-quarter acre farm. Our preschoolers have the benefit of learning about the farm. They are familiar with concepts like – how a crop gets harvested, how seeds are planted and what are the different machines used in a farm. At the end of the day, we have been able to accomplish our goal of grooming early learners to become environmentally responsible.”
In the end:
Preschool development programs like urban farming aren’t just an overrated improvement program; rather these innovative programs are used to bring our early learners closer to nature. A farm is a miraculous place where the little farmers get multiple sensory experiences by touching different textures of farm objects like – hay, grass, animal fur and vegetables. In addition to that, they also get to learn how food moves all the way from the farm to the market and then finally to our plates, while enjoying the many joys of horticulture they tend to develop a new found love for eating fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables.