Dirty Happy Kids.
When we are farming- our kids are right along side us. We have only a few rules when it comes to having our kids "free range" so to speak. But basically I do my work in the garden beds, and they need to find something to do outside where they can still hear me call them. My little one year old is my sidekick right now; either enjoying the dirt, grass and water he finds or getting toted around by one of our sweet neighbor girls.
Rules include: stay out of the shop with Papas tools. Stay out of the vehicles, don't trample the gardens, stay outside, share, be kind, and watch the littler ones. Take a break if its not working, and pick up your toys, bikes, and hoses at the end of the day.
When I'm outside working I'm stirrup hoeing, broadforking, raking, shoveling, seeding and watering. But it seems its never done; I still have to add something to my pathways to keep weeds down, open up and prep several more garden beds, and rework the soil in the two beds where the seeds didn't germinate. Grrr.
While I'm doing that my barefoot kids can be found, jumping on our trampoline, climbing trees, making huge mud pits with the hose, playing in the sawdust pile, riding bikes and playing in our shaded sandbox. I bring them snacks and make them picnics, I put non-toxic sunscreen on my kids, and hats on their heads. I let them run in and out of the house 44 times to fill buckets with warm water for the kiddie pool, even though the floor is muddy and wet afterwards. I give them cold water to drink and my homemade fruit smoothies. They draw, paint and play legos outside; they race around with the chickens, take turns trying to catch them, and collect the eggs. They brush the donkey, feed the bunnies, swing in the hammock and sit on the tractor. They're happy. They're dirty. And so am I.