Thinking about going to a farmer’s market with grandkids? We never did. . .until a few summers ago.
Yes, we took a few of the grandkids with us to our local farmer’s market. I never realized how much fun we could have or just how funny it could be!
The kids were so amazed at all the goods that were for sale. Just watching them run from vendor to vendor wanting to touch, smell, and taste everything in sight was worth braving kids in the heat. I’m not sure who had more fun – us or the grandkids!
Oh,. . .and the questions! They had questions about everything they saw. Everything from “How do they get they get the bees to lay their honey in the jar?” to “They really milk goats??” The questions were soooo funny!!
So, if you want to go to a farmer’s market with grandkids but you’re just not sure if they will enjoy it, we have some tips to guarantee a great time. A trip to the farmer’s market with your grandchildren can be both educational and entertaining. . .for both of you!
First and foremost. . .
Make going to the farmer’s market with grandkids FUN!
Make the whole trip a game. Let’s face it, we all have more fun when we’re playing games, right? So, make going to the market a bit of a challenge. If you have grandkids who are a bit older, they might really like going on a scavenger or treasure hunt. You’ll find our version of a fun farmer’s market scavenger hunt in the printable below.
If you have little ones, you will find that playing a game of I Spy may never end as there is so much to “spy” at the farmer’s market.
Another fun thing to do is to give the kids a shopping list. Let them discover the market by finding the things on your list for you. You could make visual list if the kids are pre-readers.
Using Your Senses at the Farmer’s Market
A farmer’s market has so much more to offer than just fresh fruits and vegetables. Indeed, you can use all 5 of your senses to make the experience really come alive for the kids.
For instance, you can use your sense of sight to find all kinds of new items that maybe the kids didn’t know existed – new types of vegetables, jams, soaps, or crafts
Have the grandkids listen for new sounds. Have them stand still for a few minutes and close their eyes. Ask them what they hear. They may hear music, animals or even windchimes. (I’m not sure exactly why but every farmer’s market I’ve ever been to, there is a vendor selling windchimes.)
Smells. . .there are sooooo many different scents that will catch your nose! Everything from sweets to flowery scents to those not-so-flowery scents. . .you know which ones I’m talking about. Try to identify the smells before you discover what they actually are. It’s a great game!
Sometimes you can sample things like lotions where the experience is both for your nose and your hands. Which brings us to the next sense. . .touch.
Kids love to touch things, and sometimes that can be a unique or interesting experience. However, warn them that not everything CAN be touched. Teach them to watch for signs that say: “Don’t touch!” Also, make sure if they are touching or handling something that they don’t drop or break it. The vendors usually have a policy of “you break it, you buy it.”
I saved this one for last, because it’s my favorite – TASTE! Who doesn’t love to taste test things at a farmer’s market?? While yes, there are a lot of yummy favorites to sample, there may also be some unfamiliar items that the kids should try. I say should because they may not be to willing at first.
Trying unfamiliar things can be a scary proposition for kids and getting them to do it may be difficult. Don’t force the issue but try to get the grandkids to at least smell and take even just a small taste of the item. If they won’t, don’t stress them (or you) out. At the very least, you can ask them if they have any questions about the item.
One last thing about samples. Teach your grandchildren that there is only one sample for each person and that it shouldn’t be a buffet. Also, teach them to take the first one they touch. Maybe it’s just me, but I hate seeing kids touch a bunch of different pieces and choose the last one they touched. Ewww!
Encourage the Grandkids to Talk to the Vendors
Most vendors at a farmer’s market know their product inside and out. And, they usually LOVE talking about it with the shoppers. Encourage your grandchildren to meet the vendors and ask them questions. There are a lot of things they can learn and share with their families or school classes.
Kids are naturally curious, so let them ask any question they can think of (within reason, of course).
Here are some sample questions that my grandkids have asked:
- How many eggs does a chicken lay in a week?
- How tall do cornstalks grow?
- For the beekeeper who sells honey: Don’t the bees fly away?
Eat or Cook Something Together That You Got with Your Grandkids at the Farmer’s Market
When you get home from the farmer’s market, you can encourage your grandchildren to again try something new or an old favorite. We love sharing some of the fresh fruit while talking about our morning at the market. Or just digging through and putting away our treasures makes for good conversation.
However, I think our favorite thing to do is to actually cook using something we bought at the farmer’s market with grandkids. Here is a special favorite:
Nothing beats fresh blueberry pancakes with Peach Pit syrup! Yummy!!!
Ask your grandkids what their favorite thing was that you bought and see what tasty treat you can cook up together!
Fun Printable For a Day at the Farmer’s Market with Grandkids
We put together a fun printable for you to either take with you or enjoy when you get home from the farmer’s market. Maybe you could just use them for the car ride either to or from the market. (Just as a side note: These printables are also fun if you’re talking to your grandchildren about gardening.)
Feel free to download this and print off as many as you need for each of your grandchildren:
(Just click the link above to download the free activity sheets – no email needed)
You can share these printables with your long distance grandchildren too. The scavenger hunt could be fun if they went to a local farmer’s market in their community and took pictures of all the things that they found and you could do the same. Then get together on video chat and compare pictures!
Have a great day at the farmer’s market with grandkids and remember to take it slow and easy. Don’t be rushed or in a hurry or you may just miss the magic of watching the kids discover things. . .maybe for the first time.