With an economy in recession and gas prices on the rise, many families are taking a “stay-cation” instead of a “vacation”. Even if you are going to go on a “real” vacation, (i.e. driving hours in a car with children asking “Are we there yet?”), there are learning opportunities everywhere this summer and why leave the field trips just for the school year.
We are going on a field trip each week of summer and I have determined these trips the following ways:
What interests your child and where could you go to answer those curious questions they ask? We have a field trip scheduled at the Water Conservation District because my daughter wanted to know where all the water went as the tub drained. We are also going to a mining operation because the kids wanted to know why a big hole was in the earth.
What things do you like to do? I love to hike and I have found several easy hikes that are short and good for children. I want do something I enjoy and see if they might enjoy it as well. If you want to increase the potential for enjoyment, be sure to take plenty of breaks, water and treats. Playing games as you hike also makes it more fun. Ask the kids to find 5 things that start with the letter “s”, and hope you don’t see a ssssssssssnake! “Geo-caching” is another way to have fun hiking and learning how to operate a GPS.
What will strengthen their testimonies? Visit local church history sites. We live by many and rarely visit them. Take a day or two or three and visit some. Visit your personal history sites.
Do some family history sleuthing by going to the cemetery. Take crayons and paper and have the kids do a rubbing of the headstones.
When was the last time you visited a local museum and learned (remembered) the history of the area? the founding fathers? local mysteries? What about a children’s museum with activities centered just on them?
How many parks are in your city? Make a plan to visit a different one each week. Create a grading rubric and have the kids rate each park. At the end of the summer, take a thank you card and your data to the city offices. They would appreciate a note of gratitude and the feedback.
Take a field trip!