Field Trip Ideas
Why Go on a Field Trip?
Field trips are an opportunity for an enriching, educational, entertaining, and hands-on experience for children in the "real world." Whether it's a theme-related field trip connected to topics followed in daycare, an educational field trip showing children how the world works, a personal field trip to a familiar person's home or business, or simply a fun-filled field trip to a children's favorite destination, there are myriads of good reasons to go on a daycare field trip.
Field Trip Benefits
More specifically, here are some the various ways children benefit from field trips:
- Opportunity to put to use information learned in daycare
- Opportunity to ingrain life skills/interpersonal skills discussed in daycare
- Hands-on learning
- Explore rich resources of the community
- Enriching cultural experience
- Healthy physical activity (where applicable)
- Fun while learning
- Learn about diverse subjects such as science, history, social studies, literature, art, and sports
- Interact as a group in a new setting; daycare bonding experience
- Increased motivation for learning
Field Trip Planning: Involve the Children
To make the most out of your daycare outings, start planning field trips well in advance, including daycare children in the planning stages. As a group, generate a list of field trip ideas, discussing the potential benefits/drawbacks of each, as well as practicalities/impracticalities. Once a destination has been chosen, prepare the children via books, pictures, films, and songs related to the big day. Review how they should conduct themselves in a public/social setting, including good manners, staying with the group, what to do in an emergency, and any field-trip-related specifics. The kids will be excited and prepared for their venture into the real world, and you will feel confident that your field trip has been properly planned to go off without a hitch.
Ideas for Daycare Field Trips
From traditional to trendy and from thought-filled and provoking to fun-filled and entertaining, here are some great field trip ideas to consider:
Make an appointment for a tour of the local library, showing children how the system works. Explore the children's section, allowing the group to check out a book to read at daycare. Attend story hour, free movie day, or a craft session offered by the library.
A children's all-time favorite! Kids not only love inspecting the shiny red fire trucks and getting a tour of the firehouse, but they benefit from an educational talk given by a fireman about what to do in the event of a fire and fire prevention. Kids can't get enough of watching how firemen slide down the pole and are delighted when sent home with free coloring books, stickers, badges, and plastic fire hats.
Save this field trip for a shorter time span when no transportation is available and for children with shorter attention spans. Teach the daycare in advance about the four food groups, money exchange, how to use a checkout counter, et cetera. In the store, ask children to identify fruits and vegetables and where certain foods come from or are grown. For a treat, buy the group an inexpensive snack or popsicles on the way out.
An outing to the children's section of any museum is always a winner! Hands-on museums where children can touch, push, or turn buttons and handles are great for daycare children, and a tour led by a museum official keeps the visit interesting and fun. Especially popular are science museums and planetariums, as well as dinosaur field trips (where kids can see dinosaurs close up).
For an inexpensive, mouth-watering outing, consider a field trip to the local bakery. Children are fascinated by the world of cake making, cake decorating, and how donuts and cupcakes are created. They will be even more thrilled if the bakery offers the group free samplings of their tasty goods!
Additional kid-friendly ideas for daycare field trips:
•- Parent's workplace
•- Pottery shop (where children can craft and paint their own piece of pottery)
•- Dentist's office (where children learn about oral health, the importance of brushing and flossing, and receive a free toothbrush or coloring book)
•- Park/Nature hikes
•- Butterfly garden
•- Military base
•- Radio/TV station
•- Animal shelter
•- Post office
•- Hardware store