These are not inner city kids who've never seen a patch of grass. These are suburban kids who have gotten separated from the source of a lot of their stuff: the farm.
Once the buses unload, groups of 20+ kids travel from station to station to learn about various aspects of farm life. These including samples of rural life 100 years ago, dog agility (as it relates to working dogs on the farm), hands-on lessons with some amazing farm animals, and of course, I get to talk about fiber - plant fiber and animal fiber.
We start by talking about cotton, and all the amazing things we get from the cotton plant. The kids play "cotton gin" by separating the fluffy fibers from the hard seeds.
Then we spin a little cotton thread out of the fluff, with our fingers. Not easy, but the kids to remarkably well.
Then we talk about wool and sheep, and the process of getting that wool into garments. Even the parents and teachers learn a few things. Today I learned some Spanish words: suave = soft, limpia = clean, blanca = white. That's what we get when we wash raw wool... clean, white and soft lana... um, wool.
I loved having Emma with me as a helper today, and so did the animal wranglers. She's always had a soft spot for those mini donkeys like Victoria.
The kids get to touch some sweet farm animals and look deeply into their little eyes...
the Momma Goat...
a Jacob sheep...
More goaty cuteness ...
Big dramatic, gentle Belle, the draft pinto
Cookie, the guard llama, some chickens, and more...
After four groups of kids came through, it was time to load up all the animals back into Ms. Keeley's amazing critter hauler.
Chris loads up the very pregnant mini-zebu heifer.
The goaties wait their turn to load up.
It all fits back in, like a 3D animal puzzle.
Last aboard, Heidi the agility Corgi.
Every time I see these kids' eyes widen with disbelief about all the cool stuff they learn, I'm reminded how amazing it really is. When their jaws drop, mine does too. It's very easy to take it for granted, when the stuff of nature and the farm surround me every day. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to see it with fresh eyes every time we share it with a child. Thanks for reminding me of the miracles.