This Summer we loved engaging local children in our ‘Farm and Nature Play’ sessions at the Fold. We had lots of fun exploring the crops growing on the farm. We often only see our vegetables in shops so the children did a great job of guessing the names of the vegetables they could see growing, although a couple of unusual ones such as kohl rabi had everyone a bit puzzled! We enjoyed getting our hands into the soil with farm jobs such as seed planting, harvesting potatoes and digging up carrots. The excitement of digging up a really big potato, as well as finding big juicy worms, was wonderful to see!

           

We tasted some of the food growing on the farm by cooking over a campfire. The children learnt how to build a fire and how to be safe when around the fire circle. We toasted garlic bread, roasted potatoes with melted cheese, and had crumpets with honey. Many of us thought that food cooked on a fire tasted much better!

We talked together about what ‘organic’ farming means and how we need wildlife such as insects and birds to help pollinate our crops and protect them from pests. We went on bug hunts using pots with magnifying lids to get an up close look at these incredible creatures doing so much work beneath the surface of the soil, one of the highlights was finding some tiny frogs and taking it in turns to carefully hold the frogs before finding a safe place to release them. We also went on leaf treasure hunts to learn the names of native trees.

The children made some beautiful craft items using natural and recycled materials, we made bug hotels to take home, learnt the Japanese art of ‘hapa zome’, by hammering leaves and flowers onto fabric to release their natural pigments, and made some leaf sun catchers.

       

Our Farm and nature Play sessions were for children aged 5-11 years, and parents and carers were able to book places in advance for their child(ren) to attend. We also had another session for Worcestershire Parents and Carers Community (WPCC), a charity providing support to families with children with disabilities in Worcestershire. It was great to have parents come along with their children to get involved with the activities!

It has been really rewarding to observe children being really interested and curious about the natural world, and we hope experiences like these will encourage our next generation to be respectful and thoughtful guardians of our environment. We are hoping to run more ‘Farm and Nature Play’ sessions during school holiday periods, please follow us on our social media to find out more details. We would love to get children involved in the Fold during term time too and are hoping to encourage school visits and set up a ‘Farm and Nature Play’ after school club. If you are a school that would be interested in bringing some of your pupils to the Fold, or a parent/carer who thinks their child(ren) would like to come to a ‘Farm and Nature Play’ after school club, please get in touch by emailing carefarm@thefold.co.uk.