While my wife and I are never bored on the homestead, we can’t say the same for our children. Our children have great minds and worker hard, but daily farm chores can’t provide everything they need. For this reason, we have had to find tons of unique ways to keep our kids entertained on the homestead.
The key is to mix fun activities in with chores and other activities that need to get done around the homestead. I’m not saying that you should have the kids use the chicken eggs they collect for an egg hunt, but you should break up chores with entertaining activities. This will help your kids from getting the feeling that they are working all day every day. It also helps their mind get some exercise and learn about the world.
Once you have a few ideas, pay attention to what your kids like and what they don’t. Some of the older kids might like one fun chore while the others are too young to understand what is going on. You might need to split them into teams so that everyone is having fun. An example at our homestead is that we have our youngest two dig up worms while the older two use them to catch fish. They all have fun and we get to stock our freezers in preparation for winter!
If you put your mind to it, you can find tons of little tasks that might be fun for your kids. We find them every day as we do our larger daily chores. Even if the kids take a part of your chores, it can go a long way towards getting things done around the farm. If you need to get you’re a kick start, you can use some of these great activities that we use.
As we mentioned before, our little children love to dig worms and our older children love to fish. They are all having fun while putting food in our stomachs. You can’t beat that deal!
Every once and a while, we will go out on the boat and catch some seafood for dinner. We live on Cape Cod, so catching flounder and striper is a monthly ritual for us. We can’t do that every day, but it is a good way to get out of the house and still get things done.
Raise Some Frogs
This one isn’t very practical, unless you eat frogs I suppose, but it is a fun learning experience for the kids. We have a few bullfrogs in our little pond, so we let the kids catch a few each year and watch them evolve before releasing them. Once they get past the first few questions, like what do tadpoles eat, you can catch them sitting next to the tank and watching for something to happen.
Hunting is a huge part of what we do, and it takes a good amount of practice to do it proficiently. The earlier you get them started, the better they will get. Get them out there with a BB gun and some soda cans so that they can learn the basics of marksmanship. As long as you teach them how to be safe, and keep an eye on them, this can be a great activity for them.
Training Show Animals
One of our primary sources of income are our alpacas. Our show record significantly raises the value of the animals in our herd, so we show any animal that looks like it could do well. That being said, each animals needs to be properly halter trained before we can show them. Our older children are great for that job because they love it. They can do the initial training under our supervision and then we let them give each animal a few hours of experience over a month or so.
This is the messiest task on the list, but probably the most fun for any kid. Whenever we need anything painted that isn’t over two stories, we get the kids to do it. They get a lot of paint on themselves, but they always get the job done. This is probably one of the most fun ways to keep our kinds entertained on the homestead.