Frugal Farm Fun

Old McDonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o. The kids wanted to explore it, but mom didn’t want to spend too much dough, e-i-e-i-o! Want to have a fun filled farm themed experience with your kids without breaking this little piggy bank? Try planting and harvesting some of these home-grown ideas!

Learn about the Farm with Blippi: Click on the ‘copy link’ icon in the upper right-hand corner of the image below and paste it into your browser to join my son’s favorite children’s entertainer as he tours a farm and introduces you to the plants and animals that live and grow there.

Sensory Corn Bin Farm Fun: A number of years ago I took my daughter to the Oswego fall festival. There was face painting and pumpkin painting and hot apple cider with pumpkin cookies but all of that could have evaporated into space as long as she could play in the corn bins (AKA plastic kids swimming pools filled with corn).

We stopped at Farm and Fleet on the way home and bought a fifty-pound bag of corn for twelve dollars and dumped it into a storage tote. My kids literally spend hours digging in it with their hands and feet, watching it fall between their fingers, scooping it, ‘serving it’ as soups and stews, ‘feeding’ imaginary chickens. I mean it when I say it was the best twelve dollars I ever spent!

Exercise on the Farm: Just like the Blippi image above, copy and paste the ‘copy link’ icon into your browser to burn some calories with these fun themed kid’s workouts.

Sing About the Farm: Copy and paste the links below into your browser to learn directional words, counting by 2’s, and American Sign Language with Jack Hartmann- a children’s educator and entertainer.

Build Your Own Farm: We found this fun bucket of plastic farm animals at Five Below for five dollars and we took them over to the outdoor play area at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center to build our own little farm to play with.

Visit a Real Farm: We are privileged enough to have Blackberry Farms in Aurora and Primrose Farm in St. Charles close by to visit.

Blackberry Farms is more of a historical farm park than an actual working farm though there is a petting zoo with chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, alpacas and the like that you can hand feed for a small donation. There is a minimal entry fee (ten dollars for non-residents) that gets you access to all the historical buildings as well as the merry go round, train, pony rides, and hayrides. Throughout the summer they also offer free admission days, just keep in mind that the free day access only includes the historical buildings and the playground. The rest of the rides cost extra. Check out the link below for more information and special events for fall and Christmas.

Primrose Farm is an actual working farm owned and operated by the St. Charles Park district. It is completely free to enter and walk the grounds. You can easily spend an hour visiting with the horses, cows, sheep, and chickens. There’s also a tire swing, slide, and sand box. For an extra fee (you must sign up in advance on the website) you can feed the chickens, feed the goats, collect eggs from the chickens, milk the cows, get hands on with the horses, or do yoga with the goats. Check out the link below for more information.

Want even more info on the animal encounters? Check out my previous blog post below.

Say Goodnight with Some Themed Books: As always, I’ve included links to the fee read alouds in case you can’t find these titles at your library.

In The cow Said Neigh by: Rory Feek something strange is happening on the farm. The cow is neighing, the horse is quacking, the sheep is oinking, and the farmer is scratching his head and mooing to himself. (Cow read aloud)

In Old MacDonald had a Phone by: Jeanne Willis the farmer’s new smart phone seems like a blessing, but when a typo orders phones for all the animals on the farm things get out of control. The chickens are too busy tweeting to lay eggs, the cows are messaging at milking time, the rooster can’t even be bothered to crow anymore. Finally, it’s up to the farmer’s son to set some limits and get the farm working smoothly again. (Old MacDonald read aloud)

I challenge you to read No Sleep for the Sheep! by: Karen Beaumont to your kids ten times fast! This fun fast paced rhyming story will have you tripping over your tongue while your kids learn their animal sounds. (Sheep read aloud)

I hope you all had a great time at the farm without having to put mom’s charge card out to pasture!





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