February 9, 2023 | Daryna Putintseva

10 Ways to Get Gen Alpha Excited About Agriculture

Many parents would confirm that young children often have a very abstract idea of where food comes from, particularly those who live in more urban or suburban settings. Studies back this up – research conducted by psychology professors at Furman University in South Carolina showed that 41% of children thought bacon came from a plant, while 46% assumed french fries were a meat product. 

The statistics almost feel like “Kids Say the Darndest Things” anecdotes, but it needs to change. 

Besides the obvious reasons, such as versatile cognitive development and general knowledge, our task as caregivers is to teach conscious choice-making. A basic understanding of different farming practices and food origins will help kids maintain a more environmentally responsible diet as they grow up. 

On top of that, sparking agricultural enthusiasm early on establishes a foundation for the future of the industry. Great proof of that are modern farmers and agronomists who chose their professional paths based on childhood connections to ag communities. 

Here are ten ideas for you and your little ones to try out. 

1. Plan a farm visit

Depending on the season, there are plenty of interesting things to do and see on the farm, such as a u-pick berry farm in the summer or a corn maze and pumpkin patch in the fall. Choose a local farm experience  and involve your kids in planning the road trip. Core memories and lots of picture-worthy moments are guaranteed.

2. Grow a plant

Watching a seedling slowly climb to the light is a mesmerizing experience for any age. For the young ones, it is an excellent opportunity to learn about different aspects of plant growth, such as the importance of light and water. Start with a seed pack from a local garden centre or go one step further and germinate a citrus seed or an avocado pit from your kitchen scraps.

3. Join a community garden

Urban community gardens are growing more popular, allowing us to get our hands dirty in a micro-farm environment. Besides the included activities like planting, weeding, and fertilizing, you will also enjoy the results of all the work come harvest.

4. Complete a DIY project

During cooler weather, use imagination to bring the farm to your home. For example, make an animal stuffed toy using your child’s design. Or grab a pack of plastic farmyard animals from the dollar store and work on building a mini barn, asking your kid to come up with solutions for feeding, cleaning, and maintaining the pretend stock.

5. Go grocery shopping

A farmers’ market is a great place to meet local growers and explore seasonal produce. Take your younglings along to show how fruits and vegetables differ based on the time of the year. And to make the visit feel less like a chore, you can put together a scavenger hunt with the items you need to get and ask your kids to help you locate them.

6. Develop your very own exercise routine 

Channel your offspring’s energy into groovy tunes and farm-themed moves. Experiment with imitating different animals and build a routine you can practice together every morning or a few times a week. Everyone’s favourite song about Old Macdonald and his diverse domestic creatures should be a great start.

7. Create a personalized workbook

In some cases, kids might be reluctant to do new activities because they don’t match their current interests. Whether it’s dinosaurs, superheroes, or magic unicorns, incorporate the beloved characters into simple workbook tasks such as matching food items to animals, colouring, solving puzzles, and so on. You can also include your child’s name to enhance engagement. 

Not sure you want to develop your own material? You can find free resources from organizations like Alberta Beef Producers, Agriculture in the Classroom Canada, and National Agriculture in the Classroom.  

8. Design a themed outfit

Don’t wait for Halloween to play dress-up. Ask your youngling which farm character they like the most and put together a makeshift costume. There is limitless potential for imagination and creativity. Plus, you would probably get a few cute photos to share and keep.

9. Cook together

Use the ingredients you already have, or bring fresh local produce from the farmers’ market to whip up a delicious meal. While small kids are not always great dicers, they love to observe and complete simple tasks for the sake of a grand project. Use this chance to remind your little one where french fries come from and experiment with simple recipes like fruit salad, pizza, or pasta.

10. Read a bedtime story

Reading before sleep is highly beneficial for children’s language and vocabulary development. Not to mention, it is a great opportunity for some cozy, cuddly bonding. Add a few farm-related stories to your library, and make sure you stay open to questions and discussions.

By the way, WS is currently working on something your kids will be excited to put on their bookshelf. Stay tuned for the updates in the coming weeks!

Daryna Putintseva

Daryna's life-long passion for writing and creative solutions empowered her to develop content across many fields, including ag-tech, education, succession planning, and more. Her superpower is finding the right words for any concept, no matter how complex.