The first Carstens Farm Kids' Day was held Friday, September 8, 2000. What began as a "whimsy" idea of educating people has turned into an annual event that the volunteers, school children and area school teachers all applaud.
With area school children arriving on school buses at Carstens Farm a little after 9 a.m., the fun begins. There are various demonstration stations set up around the Farm that provide the kids and teachers with some interactive history lessons on the good old days.
Some of the stations include:
Avery Tractor & Steam Engine Students get to an up-close and personal view of the Farms Avery Tractor and a steam engine. A quick overview of how steam engines work and the importance of how steam on the Farm is given.
Bee keeper and honey Students are always particularly interested in the bee keeper demonstration.They are shown and can actually touch the bee keepers outfit. They get to see how bees live and produce honey. Blacksmith In the blacksmith shop, students learn how wagon wheels were repaired, how horseshoes were made, how a trip hammer worked and what could be done with the tools in the shop.
Broom-making The students get hands-on, interactive demonstrations of a broom being made.
Butter-making The students get a quick lesson in how to turn whipping cream into butter.They particularly enjoy the part of the demonstration that provides them with crackers to sample the butter on.
Candle-making - Students are show the process of making candles.
Chickens For some students, this is their first meeting with a chicken. Thanks to the Art Rieber family, they get a good look at various kinds of chickens that range from ordinary farm chickens to fancy chickens such as Bantam, Wyandotte, Orpington, Newhampshire, Bassette, Brahma and many others.
Corn Maze The corn maze is always a definite hit with the students.They enjoyed finding their way through the maze, which is in a different shape each year, usually the featured tractor at that year's Farm Days Show.
Corn Shelling Students are shown a hand crank corn sheller that was used on the Farm.Many students take a turn in shelling corn from an ear of field corn.
Cream Separator Students got a first-hand look at how and why cream separators played an important part on the Farm.
Horses - Students are introduced to Vicky Palmer's family horses and learn how horses were used on the Farm.
Horse Barn Tour Students learn about the importance of the horse barn on the Farm and about the many chores that were done on the Farm.
Horse-drawn Wagon Students enjoy seeing Jerald "Moose" Bergman's horses and wagon being driven around the Farm. The students can get a tour of the farm in the wagon and are able to pet the horses.
House Tours Students learn how much work went into keeping a home in the 1880s.After learning about how meals were prepared in the summer kitchen and how bread was baked in the old oven heated with corn cobs, most students are thankful that times have changed.
Kids Games Students have a good time learning some of the games played in the old days, such as walking on stilts, corn cob toss and the always popular potato sack races.
Laundry and Ironing- Students get to see what a job doing the laundry used to be.Not only do the demonstrators show the kids how clothes were washed, hung on the line to dry and then ironed, but students get to try it out for themselves.
Making Apple Cider Situated under the apple trees on the Farm, apples are picked and put through the press before students get a taste of the cider.
Pedal-Power Tools Demonstrations enable students to see how various foot tools were used to cut shapes out of wood and to build things.
Potato Patch The potato patch is always a hit with the kids and adults alike.The adults plow the potatoes, the kids then pick them up and take them to the washing station.After the potatoes are washed, sent through a slicer and then fried into potato chips, the students and adults get to enjoy eating them.
Rope-making This interactive station provides the students with a hand-on demonstration of how to make rope the old-fashioned way.
Rug-making From inside the chicken house on the Farm, students are given a demonstration on the way rag rugs were made on an original rug loom.
Saw Mill The saw mill demonstrations provides the students with a lesson on how saw mills were a vital part of the farm in the 1880s for making lumber to use for the buildings.
School Bus Students are shown the Farms original 1920 school bus and hear stories about what it was like to ride one of these to school in the 1880s.
Soil Conservation Students get a lesson on soil conservation techniques.
Threshing Threshing demonstrations are a great learning opportunity for the students.They get to see the bundles run through the thresher.
Tour of the Farm Students can board a tram and take a tour of the Farm.
Kids' Day is held each year on the Friday after Labor Day.
If you are a teacher or a homeschool educator of fourth or fifth grade children and are interested in a field trip to Kids' Day, please be sure to check out the Kids' Day pages on this site and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.