5 Reasons to Take Your Tweens to the Pumpkin Patch

September 25, 2016

I'll bet you have fond memories of taking your babies and little ones to the pumpkin patch each year. There's nothing cuter than a toddler with their arms wrapped tightly around a pumpkin bigger than them and giving it all their love. And probably some drool.

I am very fortunate to live in an area where there are many pumpkin farms, and have been taking my kids since before they were walking. Our favorite is a place called Rodoni Farms, on the California coast between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. It's on a hill overlooking the ocean, and is an actual working farm that also grows other vegetables. While Rodoni is quite large, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some of the pumpkin "patches" in nearby Silicon Valley. You know, the kind of place where the pumpkins are really just a side-show to the carnival-like attractions and concessions. Instead, Rodoni has haystacks to climb on, giant tractor-wheels to play in, a corn-maze and A LOT of pumpkins.

We've taken many school field trips to Rodoni as well, as they offer educational programs where the kids get to learn about different pumpkin varieties and see their insides. I have many happy memories of our visits, and some great photos in my scrapbook.

But change is in the air. My oldest is losing interest in going out on these kind of adventures. He just wants to play on his tablet. Maybe you can relate. Does you kid just want to play Minecraft or snapchat with their friends? You suggest a family field trip to the pumpkin patch and are met with rolling eyes or maybe not even acknowledged at all. Or they just say "really mom, can't you just pickup some at the grocery store?"

Your answer should be a definitive "NO, we're going". Then find the best pumpkin patch in your area and go! I've seen positive outcomes with my kids, their friends, and my niece. Here's some of the benefits I've observed.

  1. The pumpkin patch brings out the child in everyone. Even your moody tween children. Maybe its color psychology - orange is known for being cheery and energizing. Or just the fresh air. But you will notice a change in your child for the better.
  2. They won't be scared of the bouncy castle with the gargoyles and spooky sound effects anymore. And they can hold their own when they go into bounce.
  3. You can send them into the corn maze on their own, while you sit on a haystack and enjoy your coffee. They will find their way out and on the small chance that they don't, they know how to play Marco Polo.
  4. Your older kids will still love climbing and jumping off haystacks. Maybe it's because you won't let them jump on the bed anymore. And unlike when they were two, you no longer tense up and hover when they climb to the top level.
  5. They will want to pull the wagon and show you how strong they are by lifting the heaviest pumpkins they can. And, they will willingly load the car to continue to show off their super strength. (lather on lots of praise to ensure they finish the job)
  6. Having picked out their own pumpkins, they will be more inclined to want to carve or decorate them. Pride of ownership!

I hope you will get the opportunity to visit a pumpkin farm this year with your kids, no matter their age.

Happy pumpkin picking!

 

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