Educational Field Trip Ideas
Fun Places to Take Your Kids
Taking your kids on field trips is an enjoyable way to relax and bond with your family. You are creating wonderful memories for the whole family.
The bonus is that they can learn about variety of subjects in a fun and entertaining way and get a well rounded education. They get a chance to get away from the classroom, and learn that education is something they can get everywhere. Many of these ideas are free or low cost, and you can also learn a great ideal while your children are learning.
You can supplement your kids education whether they go to school, or you home school them. Your kids are more likely to be motivated to learn when they can associate them with real life experiences.
While the availability of certain types of places will vary due to location, most localities have a number of places that are excellent for field trips. You can incorporate these field trips into your lesson plans, or make them lessons in themselves. You can research some topics ahead of time, or simply learn together when you get there. Many places have signs and placards that provide information about what you are seeing. By reading these signs together and discussing them, your children will learn about a variety of different subjects.
In addition, some places offer tours or guides who are available to answer questions. I like asking the guide questions and then encouraging my children to do the same.
Here are some ideas for locations that you can easily take your kids to for field trips.
Disney Field Trip
Amusement Parks and State Fairs
Amusement parks are probably at the top of most kids' list of field trips they would like to attend. There are lots of things to see and do, and the rides are exhilarating and entertaining. There doesn't seem to be a great deal of learning that needs to take place. But there is learning that is taking place.
They learn about frugality as you show them how to make the best use of their limited funds. They learn patience as they wait in lines for the best rides, and they learn compromise and negotiation as they decide which ride to go on next.
They can also learn about science topics such as torque and gravity as they learn about how the rides work with a little bit of extra research. They can learn about probability as they learn how the games work.
Community Festivals and Special Events
Most communities have festivals that provide great learning opportunities. Here in the central Ohio area, we have an Arts Festival, an Asian Festival, a Jazz and Ribs Fest, Red, White and Boom fireworks, the Circleville Pumpkin Festival, as well as a number of other events. You can take your children to these festivals so they can learn about societies, culture, art, and food.
Most parents and teachers tend to forget about factories as places to go on field trips. Factories that make food or toys are great places for children to learn about industrialization, mechanization, economics, marketing and a number of other topics.
In Columbus, Ohio, there is a whistle factory, a donut factory, and a brewery that offers tours. Don't limit yourself to factories though. The Municipal Water Treatment Plant also offers tours.
Don't limit yourself to places that offer tours though.
How about going to a car wash place to explaining mechanization from inside the car? At one car wash place, you can look through a window from outside the car as it goes through the mechanized car wash.
Watch a construction site from a distance and explain how the machines and tools are being used.
Go to the airport and watch as the plans take off and land.
Your kids can pick fruit or vegetables and learn about agriculture or nutrition. They can ride tractors or go on hay rides to learn about transportation and farming equipment. They can learn about different animals by seeing them first hand and feeding or petting them.
Many farms offer a chance to harvest plants. Children will enjoy learning how the food they eat is "made", sampling a variety of species of the apples or pears, and choosing their own apples, pears, pumpkins and other food to take home.
Historic sites, especially places that provide characters dressed in period costume, help bring history to life for children. They can see how things were different in different eras and learn about how people lived during that time. A field trip to a historical site can pique your child's interest in history, sociology, inventions, and architecture.
Museums usually come first to mind when thinking about field trips. There are many different kinds of museums, and each of them are already designed to provide information about the subject, whether it is an art museum, a science museum, a historical museum, or other type of museum. It is easy to walk the children around and look at the items. Be sure to ask the staff about other opportunities that are offered at the museum that are geared to your lesson plans or your children's interests.
Taking the children to parks allows them to be out in nature, get some exercise and play games. They can enjoy learning in large open spaces and be able to run around and speak loudly if they wish, within reason. They can see plants and animals in real life without having to be limited to photographs in textbooks, and be able to experience them with their senses. Here are some fun things to do at the park.
- Teach them a new game, such as Frisbee golf.
- Go on a nature trail and teach your kids about different types of plants, birds, and climates.
- Create a treasure hunt by making a list of items for them to find.
- Teach them how to navigate around the park with a compass or a GPS device.
- Have an outdoor picnic or barbeque.
- Ask you park if they offer additional services such as camping, nature walks, and other special events such as a lesson on how to start a fire without matches.
You may not think of a store as a particularly fun field trip, but they can be. Whether it is a gift store or a grocery store, you can teach your kids about making decisions as a consumer, the store's marketing strategies, sales tax, counting money and making change.
Zoo and Animal Safari
The zoo or animal safari provides an opportunity for the kids to learn about animals from all around the world. They can learn to identify the animals, and their classifications.
They can learn about different habitats, and climates and how the animal has adapted to living in that climate. They can learn about ecosystems and ecology.
They can also learn about the importance of green living and sharing the planet with plants and animals.
Home school Field Trips
When you are thinking of field trip ideas for school children, be sure to look into a variety of possible places that meet your needs and your child's interests. By taking your kids to many different places, they can get a full range of experiences that will help them really get to know the world in which they live. They will also be able to apply their lessons to real life situations.
Field trips are a lot of fun. Children get a chance to get away from the classroom and experience real life adventures that provide great memories and a wonderful chance to bond with their family.
© 2013 Shasta Matova
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