Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Farm kids, part two

A farming parent asked a question on my Farm kids post about what we did with our children when they were younger. Here's my response:

Dear Anonymous,

Before our children were old enough to play outside while we did chores, they sat in strollers, swings or car seats, depending on their age. We also kept an Exer-saucer in the barn that both kids loved. (I have a barn version and a house version of just about every child containment/entertainment device on the market.)

In addition to strollers, swings, car seats and saucers, our kids have also been kept safe outside in playpens, stock tanks (empty, of course), and a pen we built with plywood in an empty stall (before the barn was full). We keep some easy-to-clean toys in the barn, too.

Most of the time, they were in strollers, because strollers can be pushed around to wherever the action is – lots of times in the center aisle of the barn – or, in the case of the photo below, outside by the barn while we were trimming hooves.

When Dan and Monika were infants, I also kept a front carrier in the barn and would do calf chores and such with them strapped to my chest. It seemed like they weren't content for very long in one place, so I would move them around from stroller to swing to carrier and so on. 

One farming mom I know limited her kids to either the saucer or the stroller, because you can spend a fair bit of time moving children once they learn that fussing will get them moved. Limiting the number of options limits the fussing.

As far as eating things goes, both Dan and Monika were walking before I "let them out of the stroller". By that age, not as much goes into their mouths. But, Monika still does put some stuff in her mouth, most of which she spits out and a little of which she swallows. I've learned to just look the other way. Most of the stuff in Monika's play area is relatively harmless (corn, oats, bits of hay and straw, etc.), and ingesting a few germs is good for kids' immune systems, at least in my opinion.

I hope that helps.


  1. Just wanted to let you know that my husband and I love to read your articles! Are little girl is only 9 weeks old but already has a stroller and bouncer just for in the barn... When we turn the pump on she instantly falls asleep =) We love to hear about the kids!

  2. Thanks Troy and Kelly! The older our kids get the more I realize how much growing up on a farm benefits children. You're providing your daughter with a wonderful opportunity to interact with both her parents and the wonderful world of animals.


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