Agritourism refers to the fusion of agriculture and tourism, wherein operational farms and agricultural facilities may also serve as tourist attractions. These agricultural spaces can double as specialized travel sites that accept visitors for sightseeing and other activities. They commonly offer a variety of areas to visit, landscapes to explore, and agricultural activities to experience first-hand. Many consider these sites and activities to be family-friendly and ideal for growing children, as spending time around plants and animals may help them learn more about the natural world.
As a business, agritourism is believed to be an excellent solution that can help optimize earnings in farms, ranches, and other agricultural businesses. Entertaining guests creates an added income stream for these enterprises, and it’s also a great way to put their brand on the map and attract more business interest in the long term. Also, it offers more flexibility and leverage to business owners as the revenue it contributes isn’t limited by seasonal changes.
Agritourism can also serve as a tool to educate the public about the importance of agriculture in providing a stable food supply to the community. Many of these travel sites allow visitors to learn about farming, food production and sustainability, and the green movement. Because of its fun activities, agricultural tours can be an enjoyable and engaging way to educate the youth and their families about how farming helps support society in many ways.
If you’re thinking about treating your children to a fun-filled day in an agritourism center, here are some of the ways they can benefit from the experience:
- It Encourages Physical Activity
Nowadays, many children lack the opportunity or motivation to exercise, play physical games, or do physical activities that would require them to exert effort and energy. This common behavior may be due to several reasons. For instance, some may have limited access to play areas where they can freely move or exercise. Others may prefer indoor or virtual games, such as playing with electronic gadgets.
Visiting a tourist farm or a ranch gives your children a chance to engage in physical activities. Aside from this, many farm activities can encourage them to think creatively and challenge them physically as well. For instance, some farms maximize the use of their cornfields by creating a maze that kids can explore. These farm mazes often utilize fun, creative images as a pattern for the field, such as shown on the website Mazeplay.com. The children are then given a chance to roam around until they find the exit.
Solving a maze may not only involve physical activity but also allows kids to solve problems, act instinctively, and think independently. Thus, you can consider this a fun game for your child should you decide to give agritourism a try.
Aside from this, here are other examples of fun physical activities your child can enjoy in an agritourism center:
- Fruit or vegetable picking
- Feeding and playing with farm animals
- Planting trees
- Cooking farm favorites
- Joining a walking tour
- Meeting farmers
It may also be a perfect opportunity to let your kids engage in free active play where they’re encouraged to use their imagination and move as they please. Through free play, kids can explore various movements such as jumping, hopping, or tumbling, which is essential in developing physical strength and development.
- It Can Help Children Develop An Appreciation For Nature
Spending time outdoors on a farm or ranch setting can be an effective way to help your child develop an affinity with nature and its elements, such as plants and animals. Depending on their level of interest, you can also teach them scientific facts about flora and fauna that they may find helpful in their studies. This way, you’ll be able to make your trip an enjoyable learning experience for your children.
For older school children, you can encourage them to explore independently, ask questions, and interact with other people. By getting better acquainted with their surroundings and natural environment, it will be easier for children to appreciate spending time outdoors and doing related activities.
Here are some fun playtime activities you can do with your kids that can help instill a love for nature:
- Teach them songs about the beauty of nature and how to care for it.
- Collect items from outdoors for your next craft activity.
- Allow kids to take nature photographs independently.
- Let them play with sand or mud.
- Eat outdoors by having a picnic or barbecue
- Let your child identify plants and animals around them.
You can also consider spending the night outdoors by renting private accommodation in the agritourist space. Many tourist farms or ranches offer various accommodation options for overnight stays, and you can consider renting one for more extended visits.
- Children Can Learn More About Food Production And Nutrition
Teaching children about food and nutrition can help them learn its importance in daily life. Children can benefit from an increased awareness of basic human needs and where they’re sourced from at a young age. For instance, you can educate your child about how crops are grown and how much work is needed to make food available for the community. It may be an important lesson that would help your child realize the value of farming and the vital contribution of food producers to society.
Watching how food is produced may also be an effective way to teach them about nutrition and its essence in human health. For example, you can use the different crops harvested on the farm to explain the three food groups and their importance in having a balanced diet. Also, sampling farm-produced food products may be an excellent way to introduce your child to nutritious food items that they can enjoy.
- Your Children Can Learn New Skills And Interests
Exposing your children to new and exciting activities on the farm may help inspire them to pick up skills and interests. The mental and physical stimulation that these activities entail may benefit your child, and improving their capabilities can also help boost their self-esteem. Aside from these, having new interests may also be an effective way to add variety to their daily activities and enrich their knowledge at the same time.
Here are some activities that may inspire and motivate your child to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill:
- Cooking and baking
- Horseback riding
- Boat riding
- Farm work such as milking cows and goats, collecting eggs, or feeding animals
There are many other activities that you can consider apart from the ones mentioned. For instance, you can encourage them to try outdoor recreational activities such as going on a picnic, taking pictures, or flying kites. Given the wide selection to choose from, it’s essential to ensure that each activity would be age-appropriate and exciting to your child. This way, they’ll be able to have a positive and enjoyable experience that they may want to have again in the future.
- Children Can Develop A Sense Of Community
During your agritourism trip, you can take the time to educate your family about the role farming plays in supporting societal requirements like food and raw materials. It’s a great way to explain how different sectors in society contribute to building a healthy and functional community.
For instance, you can show examples of products harvested on the farm that you commonly use in your households, such as grains, milk, or vegetables. Then, you can further explain how valuable these items are in providing healthy and nutritious meals to every home in your locality. This can make it easier for your children, especially the younger ones, to understand their relevance in daily life.
Many agritourism spaces offer guided tours to visitors. During these tours, the guide educates the guests on the different work processes involved in farming or raising livestock. To help your children have a meaningful experience on your visit, you can encourage them to listen to the discussion and ask questions when needed. You can also recommend that they participate, volunteer for demonstrations actively, and get hands-on experience when available. This way, they’ll be more engaged with the tour and learn something new as well.
Lastly, you can also encourage your children to interact with the farmers and workers in the tourism center to let them see and appreciate the hard work they contribute to the community. By doing this, you’ll be able to help your children better understand their environment and the social groups that help build your community.
- It Allows Children To Interact And Make New Friends
Apart from meeting farm owners and workers, you may also meet other families. Being in an exciting environment, it may be an excellent experience for your child to mingle with kids of the same age bracket and do fun activities with them as well.
Depending on your child’s personality, you can select activities that foster interaction and cooperation to allow kids to learn from one another. Younger kids benefit well from this social interaction. Here are some suggestions you can consider:
- Interacting with animals in the petting zoo
- Feeding ducks on the pond
- Harvesting crops
- Picking fruit from trees
- Safely climbing trees
- Riding bicycles
The farm or ranch can also be a great place to engage in free play and movement, especially for children who don’t spend as much time outdoors. Free play allows kids to explore various body movements, exert effort and energy, and think creatively. Thus, it’s ideal for them to be able to move without restrictions while in the company of other children.
- It Encourages Kids To Bond With Family
Many parents struggle to find effective ways to bond with their kids. It may be because of a lack of time or opportunity to do things together apart from their daily routine. However, spending quality time with your children helps increase your bond, which is essential to a child’s development and well-being.
To encourage your child to bond with you and other family members, you can consider visiting an agritourism venue with incredible scenery and various activities that your child might enjoy. You can then use the time you spend with your children on the farm or ranch to get to know them better and do activities together.
Here are some examples of bonding activities for outdoor settings that you and your family can consider on your next trip:
- Pitch a tent and camp for the night
- Do water activities such as boating, fishing, or swimming
- Make a bonfire and cook camp favorites
- Telling each other stories around the fire
- Play outdoor games such as treasure hunt or hide and seek
- Take a tour around the farm
You can also try activity packages that many tourist farms and ranches offer to group visitors. It may be a cost-effective option, especially if you plan to spend a few days in the area. Remember to take lots of pictures!
Visiting an agritourism attraction can be a fun and exciting activity for children and the whole family. Spending time outdoors can be a welcome break to their routine, especially if they don’t get to play physical games, explore new places, or interact with other people as often. To add variety to their routine, you can introduce them to different outdoor activities through agritourism.
Aside from this, developing an appreciation for nature and outdoor recreation may also be a great way to teach them how to live a balanced lifestyle. Many children nowadays spend long hours using different electronic gadgets, which can negatively impact their overall development. To counter this, you can help your children develop an interest in other hobbies and activities that would divert their attention from gadgets.
Lastly, agritourism allows children to get acquainted with their community and their environment. This may help kids develop an affinity towards their community and culture at a young age. Having a sense of community is vital in building one’s identity and personhood, both factors being essential to a child’s growth and development.