When we think of field trips we all probably have the same images in our minds. A specific date, a specific location, a topic that has been already discussed to a limited extent with your children. However, if that is all we ever see as a field trip, we will have missed out on so much. Including many learning and teaching opportunities with our children.
There are a myriad of jobs, professions, sites and events that are often overlooked, yet our lives would be very different without them. These are perfect ideas for those not your normal field trips!
Job and Service Field Trip Opportunities
We on occasion call people to our home to perform a job/service for our families. Pest control, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, internet and cable installers, etc. I’m sure that you can come up with even more examples.
All of these people perform essential jobs and services. Most of them enjoy sharing information about their jobs. I’ve spent time learning about the internet when I kept having the same problems. The technician and I became well acquainted, so much so that we were on a first-name basis.
Recently, we had work done on our well and it was so interesting learning everything about it. The depth of the well, the volume of the water, electrical connections and more. There was so much to learn that is usually overlooked as learning opportunities.
You can help your children with questions and encourage your older children to observe and formulate their own questions when these field trip opportunities arise. Be sure to ask the service technician if they are comfortable answering questions and be respectful of their time.
While you’re out and about, don’t rush through life. Take time to see what’s going on around you.
Are there linemen, equipment operators, road construction workers or land surveyors working? Remember, to keep your distance if observing and only ask questions if it is safe to do so. If you’re unable to ask questions, have your children write down any questions or observations. Make sure to take a trip to the library for your kids to pick up books on the topic or research it on the internet when you get home.
Historical Field Trip Opportunities
I am certain that you have driven by many historical markers, I know that I have. What are we missing out on as we rush through life? These signs are in cities and towns as well as out on the open road. They are full of interesting bits of our country’s history.
It takes less than 10 minutes usually to stop and read the information at these historical markers. You never know what might spark passion in your child or even yourself. Breathe. Take a few moments to honor those who are important enough to be recognized for their contribution to our country.
Antique, pawn and junk stores hold untold treasures. Make it a point to go inside with your kids and discover something that is a mystery to you. Then ask the proprietor about the item and its history, when you get home have your kids research the item.
Everyday Field Trip Opportunities
As you are out and about don’t forget that nature is all around you. There you will find countless opportunities for field trips at any moment.
Open your eyes and you’re apt to be surprised by the treasures you find! Insects, blooms, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, leaves, flowers and rocks are waiting to be observed, smelt, sketched and touched. If allowed, leaves, fauna and rocks make great specimens for further study at home.
God has given us so much to be thankful for around us every day, that sometimes we forget to teach our children to be grateful to those that make our lives easier.
Take time to notice the stockers at your local grocery store, cashiers, waiters/waitresses, mailmen, sanitization workers, etc. Thank them for their service. Ask them what they like about their job. These simple gestures will make their day and your children will learn to appreciate everyone and their contribution to society.
Create an Essential Field Trip Bag
To be prepared for an out of the box field trip you need to be prepared. Create a field trip essential bag to have in your car. To help get you started, these are the items I suggest you place in it.
- Notepad (one for each child)
- Specimen Containers
- Flower/Leaf Press
- Log Book
Let the adventures begin! Happy times are ahead!
God’s blessings on your journey,
<3 Misty’s Mom <3