By Julie Tomascik

Although cooler and sometimes dreary, the winter break from school is still filled with fun, life and agriculture.

While teachers are enjoying a few relaxing days, many farm and ranch kids are finding ways to get a little dirty. Because this winter break offers time for a little fun and a little work. Like these 10 activities…

Check and feed livestock: Sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, horses. You name it, they need to be fed and cared for all winter long. Farm kids are right there, ready to help their parents with any chore!

Clean out the shop: Hello, winter cleaning. Now it doesn’t have to be Mari Kondo’s method of cleaning, but organizing the tools, neatly stacking piles and sweeping the shop floor are on the list.

Get windshield time driving or riding in the tractor: Riding on the buddy seat is a right of passage for many farm and ranch kids. When they’re old enough, they graduate to the driver’s seat. But no matter where they’re sitting, they make good company and get plenty of opportunities to learn more about agriculture.

Teach the farm dog a new trick: Have an older dog? Or did you just get a puppy? Either way, it’s a good week to teach ol’ Fido a new trick, because now there is plenty of time for consistent repetition!

Clean stalls and tack: This isn’t just a winter break chore. Those who care for horses know the stalls and tack need to always be cleaned, but this is a good time to get things extra shiny.

Ride horses: There’s nothing like the feel of wind, even if it’s a cold one, whipping through your hair as you take off across the pasture.

Sharpen math skills by balancing feed rations: It’s not exactly math homework, but farm and ranch kids get plenty of practice with math and fractions by balancing feed rations for livestock.

Help clean farm equipment: Shine ‘er up! Every winter, it’s time to clean the combines and other farm equipment as they’re put away until the next harvest season.

Build or fix fences: Let’s face it. Fences break, and mom and dad know kids have time off to help them patch the holes. Or build brand new fences!

Play outside: The fresh air, even with a bit of a cold sting to it, is more enjoyable than being stuck inside all day. Leave it to farm and ranch kids to explore!

Each day is so much fun, and farm kids won’t be able to wait to do it all over again. And if they aren’t covered in dirt or a little mud at the end of the day, did they really do winter break, right? 😉