There are a variety of people who help in planning and running field trips besides teachers: youth program leaders, scout masters and parents of home-schooled children, just for starters. Besides, field trips are the joy of many school kids. They offer an opportunity to get out and break the monotony of the classroom. There are a variety of good, sound ideas that will educate and entertain, as well as get the kids a dose of the great outdoors at the same time.
A great way to combine education with some exercise in a single field trip is to go on a nature walk. The best place to start looking for nature walk opportunities is in both the local state park and national park system. Most of these parks will already have a program for field trips run by experienced park rangers. Planning ahead for this kind of field trip can have great dividends, since a field trip could be set to coincide with particular wildlife events, such as migratory bird arrivals, fish runs, butterfly spawning and other semi-predictable annual events. A similar alternative is to do a geology walk, which is just as educational and packs in as much exercise, but perhaps may not be as exciting for the kids.
Another outdoor field trip is to visit a farm and plan the lesson around how the farm works. While not all farms are open to visitors, many or most of the farms that are will be able to accommodate a field trip, even if they do not have an established educational program in place. This idea also has the potential to include some hands-on work. Examples include picking fruit at an orchard, learning some grooming at a horse stable, or handling and milking goats at a soap or cheese makers. A related idea is going to a fish hatchery.
Visiting the zoo is another easy option. Most of a zoo's exhibits are outdoors, and unlike a nature walk, the kids are guaranteed to see animals. Many zoos also have established educational programs that are ready-made for field trips.
If you live near a historical monument, old fort or battlefield park, then you more than likely live near a place where living history exhibits take place. One phone call could set up a date with the reenactor group just for your field trip. What is available will depend on where you live, but it could consist of anything from Revolutionary War demonstrations to 18th or 19th century frontier life. These are almost invariably outdoor activities, and potentialy can feature a lot of a hands-on interactive demonstrations.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.