Field trips can be an extension of learning.

Many school age programs schedule field trips in the early afternoon to try to get the children out of the building during the naptime for the younger children. Home providers also like to get the children out of the house and doing something different on occasion. These do not always have to be to the usual destinations of the park, swimming, gymnastics or skating.

Try to include places that go along with the theme, and think outside of the box. One of the best trips ever was to a grocery store, where the manager of each department explained about the challenges they faced every day to provide enough fresh food for their customers. Each department included something special for the children as well. There were free meat and cheese samples in the deli, balloons from the florist, and the chance to decorate their own cookies in the bakery! This might not happen in your local grocery, but it gives an example of what can be done.

Another idea is to bring in an outside speaker. It helps to know the occupations of the parents in your program, and you can often get your special guests for free by planning themes that correlate with a parent’s employment. Also consider places like the division of wildlife and the local police or fire department.

During a mystery unit, one of the local police detectives agreed to come in and help the children "interrogate" a couple of teachers to see who had "stolen" their candy. It was a lot of fun, and the police detective was a great sport to go along with the game.

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