Field trips expose children to new experiences and encourage them to make connections to what they’re learning in the classroom. Organization and planning are important for making any educational trip a success. Here is how you can make your field trip enjoyable for everyone, while providing an educational experience that is fun and productive.
1. Start Planning Early
Regardless of who plans the field trip – you, your center director or your curriculum team – it helps to have your own list of items you need to complete beforehand. You know that lesson planning requires prep, and field trips are no different. For example, research the venue to proactively plan field trip activities that will peak students’ interests and help them reach their milestones.
2. Prep Students
To make the most of the educational field trip, you’ll want to relate it to your classroom activities. Once the trip is approved, have some lessons planned in the weeks before your trip that tie in with the venue’s educational opportunities. Are there books you can read during story time that highlight some important themes, or stories that explain field trips? Story time is the perfect opportunity to get children excited about what to expect!
As the teacher, you also want to outline expectations you have for them. Here are some tips to explain and practice with students so that they are prepared:
- Sit facing forward with backs against the seat on the bus
- Use quiet voices on the bus so the driver can concentrate and get us to field trip safely
- Hold the walking rope or stay with your partner when walking around
- Stay with your group and teacher(s) at all times (even when there is something really exciting you want to see)!
3. Connect with Parents and Co-Teachers
You’ll already know what team members and parents are expected to attend prior to the trip, but make sure parents understand expectations and responsibilities outlined by your center. Additionally, review the trip agenda with your co-teacher prior to the trip.
On the day of the trip, connect with parents and team members before you leave your center to remind them of their responsibilities and group schedule. Make sure they are aware of protocol for transition points, lunch, bathroom breaks, etc. For example, parents may be responsible for their child at all times if they are chaperoning. This means mom must let you know if she’s stepping away from the group to use the bathroom.
Take these steps to help to ensure that children, chaperones, and team members have a good time. Importantly, don’t forget to have fun! It’s rewarding to see students experience new things and make connections. After the trip, you can even have the class create a thank-you note with handprints or their names if they are old enough to write! For more information on how to make learning fun and educational for children, visit the teacher resources section of our blog.