The Hatchery is a weekday morning program for children 3-5 years old. It is designed as a "first-time" farm experience for children, introducing them to animals, crops and farm living through hands-on activities that are safe, fun and educational while a parent volunteers their time helping with other farm activities.
The program is staffed by a Hatchery teacher, who is assisted by one or two Hatchery parents. Class size is limited to ensure program quality.
During the 3 hour program, Hatchery children spend their time on several types of activities:
Chores: Through daily chore routines, children learn about the needs and products of farm animals. Routines involve some or all of the following: collecting eggs, pumping water for work horses, shelling corn for geese, putting hay in sheep manger, putting straw in calf pen.
Seasonal Activities: In the spring, children visit baby animals, plant a garden, and see a sheep being shorn. In the fall, children pick and decorate pumpkins, dig potatoes, husk Indian corn and make a wallow for the pigs.
Crafts: Children make crafts using materials from the farm: corncobs, egg shells, wool, feathers, etc. Sometimes a cooking or baking project is done instead of a craft.
Storytelling and Singing: Farm related themes are used to reinforce what children have learned about animals, crops and nature.
Outdoor Fun: Children explore the farm and its seasons through walks, games and play.
The programs runs for 12 weeks Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday from 9:15am-12:15pm., starting Sept. 21, 22 and 23. One parent must join the Farm's staff in exchange for one child's participation in the program. No experience is necessary. Parents with 2 children must have another adult to cover for the second child.
Children aged 3 to 5 years (no exceptions) may participate in the program, which includes such activities as feeding and watering animals, collecting eggs, storytelling, crafts and a hayride.
Parents may enroll by attending an organizational meeting on Wed., Aug. 24 or Tues ., Aug. 30 at 1pm. Meetings are intended for parents only and last about 1 hour. Reservations are not required.
Applications cannot be made by mail or phone.
For more information contact Kathy Brilla at 609-737-3299 or email.
Download the 2017 Summer Application here.