What combines children’s endless curiosity, desire to move, and exploration of the world around them?
Field trips help bring learning outside the classroom, while also and giving children a new perspective. In preschool, these fieldtrips can be as unique as an aviary or as mundane as a restaurant kitchen. Children’s desire to understand both the familiar and unfamiliar means everything is a learning adventure. Check out a few fantastic field trip ideas from The GIANT Encyclopedia of Preschool Activities.
- Botanical Gardens and Nurseries: Gardens teach us many things. How plants grow, the power of the sun, why water is necessary—the list is endless. Children may be especially interested in plants because they themselves are growing so quickly. A trip to a botanical garden provides opportunities to teach the science of botany while also exposing children to species of flowers they may never otherwise get to see. This opens the door for discussions on environments and biomes, and lets students get up close and personal with these exotic plants.
- Construction Areas and Hardware Stores: Building is an integral part of children’s play. Young kids build towers and castles with blocks, and several children’s stories—such as The Three Little Pigs—have building as the central focus. It therefore makes sense why children would be interested in how things are built in the real world. With permission from the supervisor, preschool classes can visit construction sites and witness the giant blocks that make up houses and skyscrapers. Hardware stores also provide a place where children can see what tools are used to put together the buildings in their neighborhood, as well as for smaller things like chairs and tables.
- Museums and Fabric Stores: Quilts are both artistic and cozy, two things that easily appeal to young children. Quilts also boast a rich history with beautiful patterns full of historical significance. After reading a story about quilts, a trip to a fabric store or quilting museum provides additional context and provides a fun crafting idea for the classroom.
- Restaurants and Kitchens: Where does food come from? While this sounds like a simple enough question, the process of cooking and preparing food can seem very mysterious to young children, especially when that food is from the magical world of restaurants. A brief tour of a restaurant’s kitchen reveals not only how food is cooked, but how restaurants cook their food similarly and differently to people at home. An added bonus to restaurant field trips is that they provide a new place for the class to eat and an opportunity to try new foods, as well as learn about healthy eating.
- Train Station: Kids love trains. There’s just something about the speedy, rail-bound vehicles that fascinates young children. Trains have a rich historical significance, marking the start of the industrial era and holding the responsibility of transporting everything from medicine to food. Trains open the door to scientific discussions as well, like how coal trains work differently from electric trains. A trip to the train station is a fun way for kids to see exactly what trains are and get a sense for how these important vehicles function. They may also offer an opportunity to ride the train. This simple field trip can be a source of great joy for students and teachers alike!