Rockids on the farm
For some children, it is the first time they have ever visited a farm. Under the watchful eye of our educators, the children walk happily towards the entrance, where the farmer welcomes them.
“You are going to discover the animals of the farm, cows, sheep, … Do you know any others?” Very excited, the children noisily shout out: chickens, rabbits, pigs….
Seeing farm animals is a great discovery for children. For some, it is the first time they have met such large animals in real life. It is normal for them to be impressed and unsettled… But they are all amazed to see these animals up close and to understand how they live.
It is true that farm animals are very present in the imagination of young children through albums, nursery rhymes or stuffed animals. But seeing them in real life is very different from what they have been told: they are big, do not speak and have behaviours that may seem surprising to them.
What a surprise, for example, when the cow starts mooing! It doesn’t sound at all like the “moo” they knew.
In the sheep pen, some children are more at ease than others and do not hesitate to touch the wool. For others, it is more complicated. They hide behind the educators’ legs.
At their age, this fear is completely normal: it is a protective reflex in the face of the unknown. Warnings that may make some people more anxious… but which are useful. It is important to make children understand that when approaching animals, safety rules must be followed.
This learning is essential in the event of an encounter with a dog in the park for example.
At the next pen, a new challenge is set for the children: to give breadcrumbs to the chickens. It is a bit scary at first, but they end up laughing at the little beaks! In the end, the children are all very proud to have surpassed themselves.
They also learnt to stroke a chick “in the direction of the feathers”. This is not easy to do, but it teaches the children to put themselves in the place of the other. By adapting their gestures, the children take a step towards altruism – animals are living creatures, they have needs and they must be respected.
After a period of observation, each child learned at his or her own pace and succeeded in getting close to the cows, sheep and chickens. They were able to overcome their apprehensions: a playful experience on the farm, which enhances their self-confidence!
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