5 Added Benefits of Field Trips for Older Kids
There are so many benefits of field trips for older kids.
We have some adventurous friends who claim “the world in our classroom!” Many families, groups and schools plan interesting field trips every year to museums, historical monuments, parks, etc. Although there are obvious lessons to be learned about sea life at an aquarium, for example, there are several other valuable benefits to planning field trips and taking your family’s learning on the road.
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Expecting a kid to learn only from a textbook is like asking them to look at a travel brochure and calling it a vacation. – K. Vensodale
Benefits of Field Trips
Here are 5 of the biggest benefits older kids get out of going on field trips.
Bring Learning to Life
We often use the phrase “bringing learning to life” in our homeschool because we enjoy asking questions and observing things for ourselves in order to learn practical lessons. For example, when we study animals in our science lesson we read books, watch videos and do research about the different characteristics of each animal. Then we seek out opportunities to visit a zoo, aquarium or nature center in order to observe animals in their natural habitat and talk to the animal handlers to learn more about the animals and their behaviors. One of our favorite places to learn about animals is at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Some of our most memorable field trips include spending time with businesses and organizations that support our community. We have visited fire stations during Fire Prevention Week to practice Stop, Drop and Roll and learn about fire prevention techniques for our home, watched mail being sorted at the post office, made candy at a chocolate factory, and planted seeds at a greenhouse. When our children have an opportunity to “try-out” different jobs they remember more about the overall trip and they understand how to incorporate what they learned into their everyday lives.
Incorporate Various Learning Styles
We often look for field trips that will give us an opportunity to use a variety of different learning methods as we learn about a subject. For example, over the years we have spent hours reading about NASA’s space programs, but our visits to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex have provided unique experiences where we can see and touch various pieces of equipment, watch demonstrations and videos about significant events, eat astronaut ice cream and even ride a simulator to understand what it would feel like to be launched into space on a shuttle. We definitely involve all of our senses on these excursions!
No matter how creative we are, there are some experiences that can’t be replicated at home. When we were studying sea creatures we wondered what it would be like to learn to snorkel and be able to experience first had the natural habitats of some of these animals. During one of our vacations we had a chance to rent equipment and learn to snorkel while swimming with dozens of stingray (don’t forget that vacations can include learning adventures too!). We were able to ask questions of the animal handlers about the stingray’s habitat, eating habits and more. It was an amazing experience, one we will never forget.
Have Fun with Friends
Learning can (and should) be fun, and there is no better way to enjoy exploring a new place than with your friends all around, sharing the experience with you. We have found that field trips give us time to interact with many different people, in a number of different settings. Our children have fun exploring new places with their friends as it gives them time to learn with, and from, each other.
More Field Trip Ideas
- Here are some interesting field trips to take with your tweens.
- If you can’t make it to an in-person location, consider going on a virtual field trip instead.
- Save some money with these frugal field trip ideas.
- Check out these tips for finding homeschool field trips.
Tools You May Need On Your Field Trip:
- Clipboards make it easy for kids to write during the trip.
- Give kids a scrapbook together of all the places you visited.
So tell us, how do you incorporate field trips into your family’s learning?
This is a very informative article on how going on field trips helps children in a variety of ways. I like that you point out that it helps the children learn practical lessons. Learning about how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly is completely different than experiencing it. My nephew will be going into 4th grade next year and will be going on a variety of different field trips. I hope that he really enjoys them. Perhaps I’ll even be able to go with him!
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