Did you know that field trips can have powerful cognitive effects? They actually contribute to the learning process. Visiting places outside of school or having special people visit the school motivates children to learn from new experiences. Environmental awareness also occurs as children see, hear and feel new things.
As I child, I loved field trips! It was always so much fun to ride the school bus to place that I had never been before. Many years later, I can still remember every field trip that I went on-the memories are that strong! You can probably think of a fun place that you visited too! Because field trips can be so powerful, we can promote them in many ways. Even, if schools do not take the children anywhere-fun “trips” can still happen. These days, many schools lack the funding to take children to even a museum or zoo. Some schools are overcoming this by having the field trip come to them. Here are some ideas of ones that I have experienced with my students:
- A Petting Zoo and Farmer visited and set up his mini-zoo outside of the school. The children were encouraged and allowed to hold the baby chicks, brush the hair of lambs and pick up the rabbits.
- Colgate sent their Dentist in a mini-bus. Children were able to have the Dentist give them a quick check-up and then they each received a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Beach Day was an outdoor event that was set up outside of the school. Parent volunteers helped fill up kiddie pools, slip-n-slides, bubble tables and sprinklers. The kids wore their swimsuits and sunglasses. Afterwards, they sat on beach towels and had a snack.
- Snow Day was also outside. The PTA raised money to rent a snow blowing truck. It simply made a l0x10 section of fake snow. The children wore their winter coats and mittens to school and were able to build snowmen in the snow.
- Rodeo Day took place with ponies to ride, pretend cows to rope and line dancing in the gym. The children came to school dressed like cowboys and cowgirls.
Here are some other ideas:
- Grocery Store visits can be arranged with a local grocer. One of the workers simply gives a tour of each section of the store and explains what types of healthy foods are available. Students can even sample fruit and veggies.
- A Local Textile or Bottling Factory is another place where children can see how things are made.
- Picking Berries or Local Veggies is a great way to show children in person, where things come from.
- Having a X-Ray Technician bring real x-rays to school is a fun way for children to see what doctor’s really use.
- Visit a Radio Station! Children can hear how the DJ speaks carefully and clearly. Maybe they can get a chance to be on the radio also!
clipart via ripleys.com