This week, we experienced State Fair Science as our family made our yearly trip to the Illinois State Fair. It’s a day we look forward to all year. Usually, we meet friends and relatives and spend the day exploring the fair together. We always avoid the rides and vendors and head for our favorite attractions, most of which are great science lessons! Our first stop was the Ag-tivity tent geared toward young children. It was full of hands-on, agriculture based experiments.
Right outside the Ag-tivity tent, we got to visit the farrowing house. My daughter loves to see the newborn piglets each year. These were just a day or two old.
Next, we were on to the livestock barns. We had to stop by the Hall Of Champions to see those animals judged to be the best of the best at the fair. These are champions, people!!
Each year, the kids have to milk the cow.
You mean you don’t go to the hog judging at the fair? We always hit the cattle and hog judging. It’s amazing what goes into making champion livestock.
Conservation World at the State Fair has been one of my favorite parts of the fair since I was young. Kids can get up close and personal with wildlife, learn about nature, talk with conservation professionals and scientists. We picked up all kinds of ideas for future study.
A major highlight for my daughter is the horses. She loves horses of all kinds, especially the draft horses. We follow her through the barns marveling at the size and beauty of the Persherons, Belgians and Clydesdales. The day we go to the fair is usually show day for the teams, so we get to see the horses all dolled up in shiny ornamented harnesses. Inspired by theses horses, our daughter has become sort of a horse expert. I think she has an entire bookshelf devoted to them. Someday, she’ll have horses of her own.
Do you go to your state or county fair? What is your favorite part? Have you thought of fairs as inspiration for science?