We believe that being connected to nature is the basic right of every preschooler (and indeed, every human being).
Gem’s Farm is where our four year olds get to enjoy regular visits to Mike and Gemma’s (the proud owners of Gems) farm for a day of exploration, discovery and play. We go whatever the weather – gumboots and raincoats, or sunhats and sunblock. Experiencing the seasons is experiencing nature at her best!
Our farm school is based on the theory of “Forest School” – a concept becoming increasingly popular throughout the world – whereby children have the opportunity to learn practical skills in the outdoors. Innovation, problem solving, risk taking, teamwork, creativity and developing self-esteem. These are all character-building lessons that bring a child’s self-confidence to the surface and help them shine in their own individual way.
The farm is a working sheep and beef farm where children can experience the seasonal nature of a real farm, such as lambing, tailing, weaning and helping sick animals. Days are spent exploring the property, visiting the places the children are naturally drawn to. The rope swing, willow tree bank and creek, the horse jumps. There’s an adventure around every corner. Dinky the pony is always a big hit, and the children learn how to care for animals by brushing him and enjoying the occasional ride.
We encourage parents to join us on our magical days at the farm. Those that do tell us it reminds them of their own childhood memories and love that we are keeping the very real New Zealand experience of the outdoors alive and well for their children.
We do have a word of warning about farm days though… be prepared for very dirty children at the end of the day!
For some real tales of our farm adventures, check out our blog here.
We would like to thank Fiordland Kindergarten (Te Anau) for allowing us to visit and sharing their information on our journey to establishing Gem’s Farm programme.