The barn has important architectural and engineering significance in Ohio. According to heartlandscience.org, (one of the resources listed on our Kidzone learning resources portion of our website), barns can be examined scientifically to determine agricultural patterns, economic conditions, and settlement history. Explore the Heartland Science website to learn about crib barns, German bank barns, raised or basement barns, side hill barns, Ohio Saxon barns, transverse frame barns, dairy barns, and others.
If you are ready for a road trip, here is a link to the Ohio Bicentennial Commission’s Final report, which lists the addresses of these bicentennial barns, starting on page 40. Click on the “expand” button in the upper right corner to view the report, print pages, or download to your device. The bicentennial barn for Mahoning county is listed at 7435 Tippecanoe Road in Canfield.
For later elementary and middle school aged kids, share the fictional story books The Hundred–Year Barn by Patricia MacLachlan or The Barn by Avi. These demonstrate the barn as a central and significant part of our early communities.
For your youngest kids, talk about what animals may be sheltered in a barn by reading the classic story by Margaret Wise Brown called A Home in a Barn. (You may already know her book Goodnight Moon, but if not, try it out for a bedtime story!) Read Farmblock to see what life on the farm is like year-round. For your toddlers and babies, have fun with Peekaboo Barn.
As heartlandscience.org mentions, the introduction of cows required changes to barn structures. But there also may be some animals living in the barn that the farmer didn’t intend! Read about barn owls from this book and this one.
Try building your own barn with inspiration from the engineering projects in Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids, perfect for kids ages five to ten.
Grownups may wish to further explore the eBooks Barns of the Midwest by Allen G. Noble or Following the Barn Quilt Trail by Suzi Parron and Donna Sue Groves. The painting of quilt designs on barn buildings started in 2001 in Adams County. Follow the link to see some photographs and get addresses of barns with quilt design artwork painted on them.
Happy and safe travels learning about Ohio Barns from your couch, your car, or both!
Photo credit: https://ohiomemory.org/digital/collection/p267401coll32/id/15509