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Activity ideas for your event

Helping to make your event fun and engaging for all who join you on the day.

Plant your pants for #LOFS22

Soil Health

Plant­i­ng your pants is a fun and engag­ing way to get all fam­i­lies under­stand­ing soil health and just how impor­tant this might be. You can dis­play at your event on a wash­ing line, with a new pair, a par­tial­ly decom­posed pair and the pair that have been in the ground the full time to get con­ver­sa­tions flow­ing! You could even com­pare soil health across the farm by plant­i­ng a few pairs in dif­fer­ent places!

All you need is a pair of 100% cot­ton pants (or oth­er gar­ment of choice, prefer­ably white), a shov­el, and 60 days of wait­ing time for the microor­gan­isms in your soil to work their magic. 

Why does this work?

Healthy soil is a hun­gry soil! Over the 60 days your pants are plant­ed, the mil­lions of tiny life­forms in your soil will get to work eat­ing the cel­lu­lose sug­ar which cot­ton is made of and start decom­pos­ing the cot­ton items you have buried. Ster­ile, life­less soil will have lit­tle effect, where­as organ­i­cal­ly thriv­ing soil will leave noth­ing but the nylon elas­tic in your pants! 

Cre­ate Salt Dough Shapes! 

Chil­dren love to make salt dough mod­els! It is rel­a­tive­ly easy and cheap to make a mix and vis­i­tors can take them home on a flat piece of card to bake in a low oven.
What you’ll need:

Flour, salt, water (ratio 2:1:1) cups as a mea­sure, a table to work on. Stiff card (from cere­al pack­et would make sense as relat­ed to grain).
What to do:

• Com­bine the flour, salt and water in a bowl until it forms a sim­ple dough. Add food colour­ing to the water for a colour­ful dough.
• Knead on a light­ly floured sur­face.
• Roll dough between two sheets of floured parch­ment paper or cling-film. For younger chil­dren keep it quite thick.
• Make your models/​items — either freeform or with farm­ing-relat­ed cut­ters.
• Place items on to a bak­ing tray lined with parch­ment paper BEFORE you dec­o­rate them with grains-wheat seeds, oats, bar­ley, oilseeds, sun­flow­ers, lin­seed.
• Make a hang­ing hole using a drink­ing straw or pen­cil end. You could sup­ply some rib­bon for hang­ing the shape lat­er.
• Hand out a slip with the instruc­tions below for peo­ple to take home if you don’t intend to bake them on farm.
Adult help required: Bake on a lined bak­ing tray for approx­i­mate­ly 3‑hours at 75°C. They can be turned half way through bak­ing. Leave to cool in the oven.’

But­ter Making! 

This is a fun activ­i­ty to get every­one involved, and get the pub­lic real­ly think­ing about the prod­ucts that come from milk! 

What you’ll need:
Small milk bot­tles or clean jars with lids, cream.

What to do:
Pour cream into bottles/​jars. Tight­en lid. Shake vigorously!

Cress Heads

This is a fun way to get tak­lk­ing about where eggs come from, and to take hoem and watch the growth of cress. 

Pre­pare a set of six before­hand for demon­stra­tion pur­pos­es. You cake them into char­ac­ters like Good egg (angel), bad egg (dev­il), (John­ny) Rot­ten egg (punk), or use ideas like egg cit­ed’, egg-haust­ed’, egg-cel­lent’ (swot), Egg-spert’ (sci­en­tist) to char­ac­terise the egg!

What you’ll need:

Emp­ty egg shells, felt pens, stick-on wob­bly eyes (option­al), cot­ton wool, cress seeds, an emp­ty egg box, to keep the cressheads steady and for the chil­dren to take them home.

What to do:

• Wash out the egg shells and sit them in the egg box to keep them steady (on a cot­ton wool cush­ion to raise them up a bit if you need to).

• Draw on some amus­ing faces, using the wob­bly eyes if you’ve got some or just felts and pens if not.

• Put some cot­ton wool inside the shells and damp­en them with some water.

• Sprin­kle cress seeds all over the cot­ton wool and dampen. 

Match­ing Seeds to Plants

What you’ll need 

A vari­ety of fruit and veg grown on your farm and avail­able in shops, along­side the seeds of these fruits and veg.

What to do:

See if vis­i­tors can match the seed to the fruit or veg, this is always a pop­u­lar activ­i­ty for vis­i­tors with chil­dren espe­cial­ly so where grand­par­ents have allot­ments or do a bit of gar­den­ing, who feel they should get them all right!
Pop in a bit of wheat and bar­ley and most strug­gle a bit!
Chil­dren can be giv­en clues with a few state­ments about how you might eat that fruit/​veg, its shape, its taste, or for younger chil­dren a clue of the first let­ter of the veg/​fruit!

Cre­ate a 3D pig — or any oth­er animal! 

What you’ll need: 

Down­load the ani­mal tem­plate out­line here: https://www.countrysideclassro…

Print on white paper card (either one or two for peo­ple to draw around, or a num­ber for peo­ple to dec­o­rate direct­ly on). Add crayons, felt tips or pen­cil crayons (pinks, browns, black colours are good) to a table or work station. 

What to do:
Sup­ply pig (or any oth­er ani­mal) tem­plate, and whilst still flat, get chil­dren to colour n the ani­mal tem­plate.
Use a sta­pler, sticky tape or glue to join the tabs to com­plete the pig, vis­i­tors can then take this home! 

    Tag the calf

    Chil­dren can make their own calf head and tag’ it using a paper fastener!

    What you’ll need:

    Paper plate or card. A tem­plate of a calf head, flag tags, yel­low or white card. Paper fas­ten­ers and felt tip pens/​crayons.

    What to do:

    Cut out a card calf head shape. Get chil­dren to draw on eyes, nose and colour in the calf. 

    Use a flag tag as tem­plate, get vis­i­tors to draw around this and cut out the shape (make 2 paper tags).

    Talk about the let­ters and num­bers on the tag and what the rep­re­sent / why they are there. 

    Chil­dren can cre­ate their own tag and attach it to their calf head with a paper fas­ten­er — they can then take this away with them!

    Felt Mak­ing

    A great way to get talk­ing about wool — it’s many, ver­sa­tile uses and why shear­ing is important. 

    What you’ll need: 

    Scoured wool, some dyed scoured wool for mak­ing a pattern/​initial, bub­ble wrap, reed mat, felt­ing solu­tion (soapy water with soap flakes with a lit­tle olive oil).
    You could use some of your own wool if washed, or wool tops, scoured and combed from a sup­pli­er like knit​shop​.co​.uk.
    Alter­na­tive­ly, you can buy felt kits from many craft sup­pli­ers if you prefer.

    What to do: 

    Have some­one sta­tioned at this activ­i­ty to super­vise and to show vis­i­tors what to do:

    • Tease the fibres of a wool sam­ple so they are run­ning parallel.

    • Lay down the fibres on the bub­ble wrap in one direc­tion for the first layer.

    • Lay a sec­ond lay­er of fibres at a right angle to the first lay­er. A 10cm square should be suf­fi­cient to make the sam­ple. Make lay­ers nice and even.

    • Repeat this to form a third layer.

    • In a coloured wool, for exam­ple, from a craft site, lay down the ini­tial of the mak­er or a sim­ple criss-cross, swirl or oth­er design of choice in an alter­na­tive colour.

    • Sprin­kle your felt­ing solu­tion over the fibres.

    • Place the sec­ond piece of bub­ble wrap laid bub­ble side down on the felt. Rub gen­tly to dis­trib­ute the water and to agi­tate the fibres.

    • Roll the form­ing felt in the bub­ble wrap and reed mat to cre­ate shrinkage.

    • Remove the bub­ble wrap and roll just in the reed mat this time.

    • Roll the felt in all direc­tions. Then leave flat to dry.

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