Schools @ Gracemere Farmstead

Visit a genuine working family farm and:

  • Observe the benefits of the daily moving of the horses and cows to fresh pasture where they can enjoy their new feed.
  • See our three dairy cows (Blossom, Rose and Clover) being milked and find out what we use all the milk for
  • Identify the difference between the egg laying ducks and the meat ducks.
  • Walk beside the goats and observe what they like to eat and their unique characteristics.
  • Cuddle a baby chick as you learn about the life cycle of a chicken and experience the journey from day old chick to fully grown meat chicken.
  • Visit the egg laying chicken caravan, find out what food they eat, how their water is kept clean and check to see if there are any eggs to collect.
  • Watch the geese and donkeys in their essential guardian role.

Your Experience at Gracemere Farmsetad Can Include

  • Nature-Play- Using sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing to discover the world around them. Go for a bushwalk, identify some plants and animals, participate in a scavenger hunt and discovery games.
  • Farm Tour- Meet and greet the various animals on the farm. Cuddle a baby chick and get your photo taken.   
  • Getting Down ‘n’ dirty- Learn how a wicking bed operates, help with gardening activities and pot your own plant to take home.
  • Bush Survival- Lash together some simple camp furniture, build your own bush shelter and then cook some snacks over an open fire. Learn to read a compass and navigate around the farm.
  • Lifecycle of a Chicken- Observe and learn first hand about the different phases of a lifecycle of a chicken. Find out what needs to happen in order to be able to eat some chicken for dinner.

Farm Animal Assisted Therapy- A smaller more interactive session where participants build a bond with animals through interaction and play. Farm Animal Assisted therapy can help  with regulating emotions, social skills, grief, confidence, self-esteem, general wellbeing and more.

The Nuts and Bolts

Gracemere Farmstead is located 15mins from Casino and 25mins from Lismore. Easily accessible to all vehicles, including buses. Toilets and a large grassy area for some snacks is available.

We are proud to be part of the Kids to Farms initiative which is aiming to encourage more schools to visit farms. For a limited time you may be able to recieve help with your bus costs. Kids To Farms Website

Talk to Stephen to indivisualise your farm experience to meet your school’s learning needs.


Why Farm Animal Assisted Therapy?

Farm animal-assisted therapy involves treatment based upon building a bond with an animal or animals through interaction and play. Due to its flexible nature, it is suitable for both adults and children with almost any kind of disability, mental illness, autism spectrum disorder, or chronic illness. Farm animal assisted therapy improves participants’ mental, physical, social and emotional functioning with the aid of animals. It helps with regulating emotions, social skills, trauma, grief, confidence, self esteem, general well being and more.

How do we operate animal therapy at Gracemere Farmstead?
The ideal session length time would be two or three hours. This will allow relaxed and meaningful time with the variety of our farm animals. The sessions will involve the participants spending quality time interacting with the animals. This can include feeding, watering, pating, cuddling, talking, observing, playing, having photos and more. Sessions
can include some or all of our animals. Participants can expect to feel connected to the animals.

How does farm animal therapy help children and young people?
Children with disabilities such as intellectual disabilites, ADHD, autism, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy etc. benefit greatly from animal assisted therapy. Animal assisted therapy can also benefit students without any diagnosed disability as it can assist all with the development of positive atributes. The connection with the farm animals assists the child or teenager with greater self esteem, improved mood, increased communication and improved engagement with what is going on around them. Our sessions can be adjusted to suit individuals, small groups or a larger class group. Our programs can cater for preschool, primary school or high school age students. The programs can be tailored to meet the needs of an individual, a group or even a class of students.