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13 Things Arkansas Farm Kids Are Doing During this Strange Spring Season

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The tumultuous ways that the current situation has changed our lives has surprised us all. Our normal day-to-day existence has shut down. Events and programs have canceled, and social distancing is our new way of life. During this pandemic, people are wading into unknown territories and finding a new normal.

One of the biggest shocks to everyday life came when Arkansas schools closed their physical doors. Teachers quickly adopted a virtual learning approach and are working diligently to serve Arkansas youth.

Many students are at home with families more than they ever have been, and a few reports have come out about boredom and discontent.

But Arkansas farm children are anything but bored; their parents are taking full advantage of having them at home. I asked some rural Arkansas families what their kids were up to.

13 Things Arkansas Farm Kids Are Doing During This Strange Spring Season

1. Training livestock

Several children have started working with their livestock animals to get ready for the livestock showing season in the fall. Showing market animals at the fair is no small task. It takes a lot of time working with the animals, determination, scheduling and knowledge of science.


 

2. Clearing briers, hauling limbs and burning brush piles

The upkeep of farm acreage takes a lot of work. If we let the work slide, an agricultural property could quickly be taken over by thistles and thorns.

 

3. Mending fences

Where there are cows and horses, there are fences. Where there are fences, there are repairs to be made. Mending fences is a good way to get in some good old-fashioned work education. To build a work ethic, mend a fence.

4. Planting gardens and starting seeds

The task of getting a garden ready is often left to the grown-ups. But with extra time at home, farm families have handed over to children the task of planting seeds and caring for them. This sounds like science to me.

5. Catching their own dinner

Children are heading outside to do a little fishing and put supper on the table.

6.Cleaning new paths in the woods on their property

Country kids love to explore the woods on their family’s property. It takes effort to clear those secret paths through the trees. Right now, farm families are building new paths on their properties that lead to treasured spots perfect for family picnics.

7. Animal Chores

Arkansas farm kids are taking a bigger role in the farm chores by taking their turns to feed the animals.

8. Physical education class through hay bale jumping

Arkansas farm kids are taking their PE class to a whole new level by working on their agility and cardiovascular health as they play tag on the hay bales.

9. Swimming in the creek

Swimming pools and lakes are closed. Backyard creeks are not. Farm kids are working on their water skills by heading out the back door and down to the creek. While there, they also practice rock-skipping, turtle wrangling and tadpole harvesting. They take tadpoles home to learn about the life cycle of a frog by building a tadpole farm. (When those tadpoles morph into frogs, they will be released back into the wild.)

10. Off-road bike rides

This extra time is allowing kids to pack up some belongings in a backpack and head out to explore the off-beaten path with bikes as transportation.

11. Chicken wrangling

Sometimes the chickens on the farm do not cooperate. Children are learning to help them get back in their coop.

12. Egg delivery 

No coronavirus will stop farm kids from practicing southern hospitality. They still deliver their farm fresh eggs to the neighbors; they simply get creative on how to accomplish this. To honor the social distancing mandates, they deliver by riding a four-wheeler through the backfields and leave the eggs on neighbors’ porches.

13. Hauling wood

Wood stoves keep a lot of farm families warm in the winter. To enjoy that direct source of heat in cold months, the work has to be done ahead of time.

Arkansas farm families are resilient and creative. While we pray for the safety of our state and nation and await a return to normal, we do hope that your family is enjoying a slower pace of life and more time together as we all try to navigate this situation.

 

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Arkansas Women Blogger member Amanda Farris is a wife to her super hero hunk of a husband and a mother to 3 little kiddos. She is a teacher/coach who hung up her coaching whistle after she got promoted to motherhood. She is a runner who loves all things sports and outdoors. She loves long coffee chats with her husband,fresh flowers on her table, and hosting game nights. Her friends would call her a "gatherer of people" who loves building genuine community. She's just Living the Adventure!. You can find her occasionally blogging at amandafarris.org.

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