The kids and I made a trip to the local pick your own organic farm for some delicious fresh fruit. We came home with baskets of fruit picked by big and little hands alike. Perfect for eating as is, in pies, cobblers, jams, and more. But the best part of the day? The pride in little eyes as they helped to gather food, sweet little hands reaching for perfectly ripe fruit and learning to gently place it in their basket to avoid bruising, and more, oh so much more. Memories were made, giggles were had, and oh yes some fruit didn't even make it into our baskets.
For a successful pick your own trip with kids there are a few things to keep in mind, before, during, and after your excursion. Tips that will hopefully help your day run a bit smoother.
Tips for Visiting a Pick Your Own Farm With Kids
Pack Light But Well– In a small bag be sure to include; Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, bug spray, itch stick ( for bug bites), a band aid or two, wipes, chap stick, bottled water, and your camera!
Go Before You Go– While the inevitable is of course going to happen, and someone is going to need a port o potty visit or a stop at the gas station on the way make everyone give it a try before they leave the house to keep stops to a minimum.
Have a Game Plan– Before you come home with 20 pounds of fruit and veggies you have no idea what you are going to do with make a plan. Give the kids options- pies, jelly, etc. Decide approximately how much you will need, be sure to get some just for eating. This will make sure you don't wind up tossing out more than you use.
Hydrate!- While this will of course lead to more trips to the potty, it is important to keep you and them hydrated with water, pack a bottle for everyone, and maybe even have some in the car if you are going to be awhile. Encourage them to drink often, sit in the shade and refresh yourself. Summertime is no time to be without enough water outside.
Demonstrate and Let Them Go– Show them several times what to look for in a ripe fruit- the color and texture. Give them their own basket and depending on their age give them some room to gather on their own, with minimal interference. Once she was shown, even my 3 year old was a pro at picking out perfectly ripe blueberries. At the peach farm she needed a bit more instruction and guidance, remember to encourage and applaud their efforts.
Include Them in Preparation– If you are bringing home tons of fruit to put up or cook with, let them help. Extend the memories you are making by letting them into the kitchen, even if its something as simple as stirring, share your mom's recipe for strawberry jam, teach them how to peel peaches- you wont regret it.
You can find more ideas for frugal summer fun for kids here as we share a new frugal summer activity for kids each day for 100 days!