For many young children, some of the best memories of their academic journey are made on field trips. They combine the excitement of exploring new places, participating and engaging in new activities, and creating with the joys of learning and education. Though children usually enjoy them, the social and educational benefits of field trips can’t be overstated. Whether you’re on the fence about offering field trips at your child care center or just looking for some inspiration for your next one, read on to see the importance of field trips for young children and the lasting impacts they can have on them.
The Top Benefits of Field Trips
Allow For Hands-On Learning
Anyone who works with children knows how curious they can be and how many questions they have. Field trips address this by offering a learning experience that allows them to see, hear, and touch the subject matter in most cases. This accommodates 3 out of the 4 major learning styles outlined in the Vark Model; Visual, Aural/Auditory, and Kinesthetic learning styles, leaving Reading and Writing up to you back in the classroom. Field trips are also great ways to create an inclusive learning environment and engage students that may not normally show excitement for education.
Reinforce Classroom Concepts
Field trips are a great way to reinforce lessons students have learned in the classroom. Reading and hearing about concepts is one thing, but having the opportunity to experience them firsthand is another entirely. This helps them solidify their understanding and provides a real-world example to reference.
Boost Social Development
With the opportunities for collaborative activities, discussions, and shared experiences that field trips offer, it’s no wonder that they can help students grow their social skills. Field trips also offer the unique opportunity for children to interact with individuals outside of the classroom like tour guides or animal experts providing them with real-world conversation experiences and practice talking to new people. Though you and other volunteers will be present to keep them safe and accounted for, field trips also offer an opportunity to speak with your class about stranger danger, a necessary lesson that can boost confidence and independence.
For many students, field trips, though controlled, are truly an adventure that takes them to unfamiliar places. They get introduced to new locations, concepts and ideas in addition to having classroom concepts reinforced and this helps kickstart their curiosity and imagination.
For example, not only can a trip to the aquarium help children learn about ocean tides, but it can also get them interested in aquatic life as a whole. Field trips introduce children to new things and help them grow a love for learning which continues past the trip itself and into the rest of their lives.
Expose Them to New Cultures
The world is a diverse place and children often have questions when someone follows different customs or traditions than they do. A trip to an art or history museum or even to a cultural center for an event can help expose children to various cultures and traditions that they aren’t familiar with. These experiences help broaden their horizons and educate them on cultures different from their own, creating a sense of respect for others’ heritage and diversity in general.
Field Trip Ideas
On board but at a loss of ideas for places to host your next trip? We’ve got you covered with a little inspiration for educational and exciting field trips that students, teachers and parents can all get behind. Check out these 10 ideas for your next field trip:
- History Museum
- Science Museum
- Art Museum
- Zoo, Wildlife Sanctuary, or Nature Reserve
- Farm or Agricultural Center
- Historical Sites
- Botanical Garden
- Cultural Center
Many of the locations on this list have field trip programs in place that will help ensure your students have an enjoyable experience while learning with a guide or a special activity that the site hosts. Be sure to check their websites and call ahead to learn more about any field trip opportunities and policies at locations near you. With these ideas, a little planning and some safety preparation, you’ll be ready to embark on an adventure and create a lasting impact on your students’ lives.
So what do you think? Are you ready to offer your students the chance to learn outside the box? Yes, field trips are a fun time, but they’re so much more than that. Field trips are important to incorporate into a curriculum because they offer education and new experiences in a way that is truly exciting for children. The exposure provided by them can help students take on new interests and become better suited for social situations in the future as well. In short, they help children learn, get excited about education and create well-rounded individuals in a child-friendly way.
Want to send out reminders to parents before your next field trip? A quick message on our Parent Engagement Mobile App can help you make sure your students are ready for the day ahead. Learn more about the app and all the other amazing ways Jackrabbit Care can help you streamline processes at your child care center by scheduling a quick call with one of our team members!