Child care providers often wonder how to plan a field trip for the children in their care. With careful trip planning, a supportive/educational setting, and a cooperative group spirit, field trips are an outstanding contribution to the children’s firsthand experience and education.
Our course, The Art of Child Care, is a wonderful Care Course on child development that talks about importance of childcare, ways to help children develop pro-social behaviors, ways to facilitating children’s social-emotional and intellectual growth, and ways to facilitate children's learning through field trips!
When planning a field trip, we know that it must be developmentally appropriate, meaningful to the children, and physically safe. While our hosts are usually eager to have children visit and have a great deal of expertise in their field, they are not usually early childhood educators (which can sometimes lead to a sub-par field trip and bored children.) When choosing a host, you must assist them in planning a trip that is engaging for the children, while still yielding to the expertise of the hosts.
Here are some tips for assisting and coaching your hosts before and during a field trip:
- Prior to the trip, build a relationship with your host. Even a 15 minute face-to-face conversation is better than none. The more you know them, the better your field trip will be.
- Ask them questions:
o What does the host hope to accomplish from the visit? How can you help them? Do they need your assistance? Is it their first field trip? How can you help them relax? Can you visit the location without the children to do a walk-through together? Do they mind answering questions the children have beforehand? Questions will relieve stress and improve the experience for everyone.
- When speaking with your host, give examples of the children’s play, explorations, and work through pictures and anecdotes so that they are familiar with what inspired this field trip and what the children might want to see.
- Explore the location and suggest hands-on experiences. Find out what would be considered intrusive verses what would be acceptable.
Finally, be sure to present yourself as a willing participant who is there not only for the children but also to assist the host. After all, when a field trip is highly successful for everyone involved, there will be many return visits (and many happy children!)
In our Care Course, The Art of Childcare, we describe the impacts of child care and developmentally appropriate ways caregivers can help children grow and develop. We touched on just a few aspects of how to effectively plan and organize field trips in this blog. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find this course on our website!
Please let us know how we can be of additional assistance! Call us: 1-800-685-7610, Monday through Friday, 9-5 ET, or email us days, evenings and weekends: info@CareCourses.com. We’re here to help!