On the first day of the Easter Vacation Care Program, Badger Creek Vacation Care set off for a day in the sun to Chesterfield Farm. This excursion is in line with framework used in Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) to foster interaction with animals, which was encouraged not only on the excursion, but also in the Badger Creek OSHC environment.
The benefits of having animals incorporated into the education programs in Cire’s Children’s Services, is to help children form relationships with pets and animals and to help develop a caring attitude and skills such as nurturing, responsibility, empathy and improved communication. Having a pet in a child care environment enables children who are not otherwise exposed to animals to learn these skills. The pet can become part of the daily educational program and can lead to activities and learning about other animals. Badger Creek OSHC and Vacation Care have a pet Blue Tongue lizard named Harry, who is part of the daily program and each child has formed a very nurturing relationship and takes responsibility to ensure he is cared for daily.
Chesterfield Farm, located in Scoresby, dates back to the mid 1800’s, but has only been open to the public since the mid 1990’s. It is a working farm and includes presentations of cow milking, sheep dog work and sheep shearing, demonstrating to the public the goings-on of farm life.
The bus ride there was very loud as everyone was very excited about what farm animals they were going to see. When the Badger Creek crew arrived they all lined up in a straight line and followed educator, Crystal inside. The animal nursery with all the baby lambs, goats and calves was their first place to visit. They were able to walk in and pat the baby animals, but were unable to feed them, as they were all on a special diet.
They were then all able to go on a tractor ride around the whole farm which was really exciting. The children got to see ponies, donkeys, llamas, alpacas, ostriches, emus, red deer, fellow deer, kangaroos, goats, camels, sheep, cows, pigs and dogs. There were also chickens, and a lot of different types of birds. Chesterfield Farm is on over 200 Hundred acres of land and all the animals are very well looked after.
Charlotte, Ashlee, Lily, Archie and Rebecca all got to hand feed the deer. Zoe, Amy, Lily and Olivia got to feed the camels and Crystal was the only one behave enough to hand feed the ostriches. The animals were all so friendly and took the children all by surprise.
The second last stop before heading back onto the bus was the Sheep Dog and Shearing Demonstration. Bridget the short haired Border Collie showed the children how clever she is. She was able to show the Badger Creek children that she knew her left from right and that she could round up the sheep very quickly. The demonstrator, Les showed the children how to shear a sheep and taught the children that doing 2 hours of sheep shearing is as strenuous as playing a 4 hour AFL footy game.
Badger Creek Vacation Care chose Chesterfield Farm to provide the children with an understanding of the world they live in and to expose the children to life in the Yarra Valley. In the Yarra Valley children are often exposed to wildlife and domestic animals. This excursion helped to teach the children one of the key frameworks ‘to broaden their understanding of the world we live in’. Not only did the Badger Creek children learn from this excursion, but they all had a wonderful day too.
Cire Children’s Services Vacation Care Holiday Programs run throughout the year during the school holidays. Be sure to check out our programs that will be coming out in June for the July holiday period.