By Joy Hayden
Field Trip Planning Considerations
Take into consideration your child’s age, abilities, and interests when choosing your field trip. You may want to offer two or three places and let your child make the final choice. If possible, let your child help make the plans. If going in a group, make sure there is adequate supervision. Some sites will have chaperon-to-student ratios that must be met. When taking a group, make sure you have permission slips for each child. If your field trip required reservations, always call to confirm them. Learn something about the subject matter before going- whether it’s a short unit study, reading a storybook, or a conversation with grandpa!
For any field trip you should find out:
- Admission prices, group rates, parking fees
- Minimum and maximum group sizes
- Ages allowed or recommended
- Availability of picnic or eating facilities
- Availability of self-guided tours or guided tours (extra expense?)
- Special seasonal activities or programs
- Dates open, hours of operation, holiday closings
Getting there is half the fun! So make sure you have some games, music, snacks or treats to make the trip enjoyable. Try to get the children to come up with some questions they would like answered on this field trip.
If you are taking a group, make sure you have planned for enough drivers-and a seatbelt for every person. Check your oil and gas up before heading out. And don’t forget to check the weather forecast.
If you are traveling to a heavily populated area like Northern Virginia or Richmond, keep in mind that traffic will be heavy at certain times of the day.
Keep a first-aid kit in your car. Someone always needs a Band-aid or Tylenol! You may want to have allergy medicine on hand in case of bee stings, hayfever, or other allergy related situations. I also like to keep wipes in the car. Have a map on hand. Remember your cell phone.
When you arrive, review proper conduct and expectations with your children. Make sure you have plans for lunch or snacks if the field trip is lengthy. Children get grumpy and distracted when they are hungry.