Explore the Farm With Your Preschooler

By Lia Harris, Little Sprouts Instructor, littlesprouts@farmproject.org

Digging in the dirt.  Eating carrots fresh from the farm.  Looking for bugs.  Planting seeds and watching them grow.  Singing songs and listening to the birds.  These are just a few of the things we’ll be doing this spring on the farm with our brand-new kids program, Little Sprouts! 

We all need to slow down a little bit more, take the time to look around and learn about the beautiful place in which we live, and build relationships with each other.  Kids are really good at doing those things, and this class is a way to encourage them to become comfortable outside, both on the farm and in the woods.  Alternatively, if your child is already comfortable outside, this class will help him or her work in a group setting and learn some ways of exploring the outdoors with science.  Through a mix of carefully planned activities and open inquiry, your child will have a chance to learn how the plants we love to eat grow, and why.  The more we get our kids outside, and the earlier we do it, the more likely they will be to develop a positive emotional connection to nature.  Through Little Sprouts, we will also explore where our food comes from and enjoy eating fresh, local food.  This is the ideal way to develop a positive community where kids enjoy eating healthy and are excited about growing their own food, which will also guide them on to a lifetime of eating locally! 

I can’t wait to be your family’s guide on this journey.  I’ve been a middle school science teacher and an environmental educator for over 15 years.  I developed my love of working with pre-school children through teaching ecology programs at the Cary Institute, and am currently pursuing my PhD in science education at the University at Albany. As a mom to two littles, I feel very strongly that we need to allow our children the space to explore the outdoors safely.  I also believe that little ones are natural scientists who just need a little bit of guidance to set up some fun and engaging experiments.  And finally, as a parent, I know that I’ll learn from our classes too as our children challenge me to look at the world differently.  I look forward to seeing you on the farm and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!