Seventeen foster youth and their Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteers, along with bio parents and social workers, joined us at Animal Assisted Happiness in Baylands Park on Saturday, March 18, 2023, to experience and enjoy activities focused on their senses such as sight (visual), taste (gustatory), touch (tactile), sound (auditory).
During their visit to the Animal Assisted Happiness Smile Farm, the children and CASAs explored each barnyard pen, where they were encouraged to interact with the farm animals. From carefully holding chickens and guinea pigs to petting bunnies, goats and more, the youth used their sense of touch to feel the different textures of fur, feather and hair.
Throughout the Smile Farm, there were multiple sensory stations such as rock painting, making their own stress ball, making chicken treats and enjoying access to nature. These activities helped CASAs and youth to interact together and bond with one another.
At the end of the Sensory Day at The Farm event, each youth received a sensory bag with assorted items to take home to help with their sensory needs, such as fidget toys, a liquid motion bubbler, a white noise machine and sensory books. Outdoor social gatherings, like the Sensory Day at The Farm event, create a supportive environment to let children explore and have fun through play and activities that develop cognitive, physical, social, fine motor skills and emotional well-being. By the end of the event, our children had experiences that would nurture their development while combatting trauma.
The event was successful thanks to our supportive staff, CASA Volunteers, and most importantly to our partner, Animal Assisted Happiness and Program Director Nicole Puccinelli.
If you are interested in sponsoring a youth-related event, please contact our development department at firstname.lastname@example.org.