Looking for fun and unique summer field trips for your program? Look no further! Talking about the summer in February might sound strange, but I have found that it takes time to plan summer activities that will be enjoyable learning experiences, AND are inexpensive!
Generally speaking, places like roller rinks, bowling alleys and swimming pools are places that cater to child care programs and welcome groups of children. But, have you considered touring a local restaurant, store or airport? Parks and nature preserves are also very popular field trip destinations. What about farms or ranches nearby? I went to one place this last summer with a program and got to see a mountain lion, zebu and kangaroos, held a baby goat and was licked by a giraffe.
That’s not all. Are there historic houses, forts or even a castle near your program? Or, you could look into places that focus on the arts, like dance studios, art galleries, concert halls or theatres. Many have programs custom-built for children of different ages. Of course, there are always the museums and entertainment plazas that offer a wide variety of activities for children.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! You don’t have to take the children anywhere to explore new and exciting things. Plus, it is a good idea to plan ahead for rainy summer days too. You could have guest speakers come in or send out Flat Stanley. One of my favorite suggestions is a program called Worldwide Culture Swap. There is a subset specifically for families (and classrooms) in the United States where you are linked up with four other groups from different states. Each group puts together a package that represents the culture or customs unique to that state. If you participate, you are strongly encouraged to add a little explanation of why you chose the items you put in the package and a description of what your favorite things to do in your state are. A group in Ohio might put a buckeye or a model airplane in the package. A group in Kentucky might put a horse figurine or CD of influential music. The packages are then shipped to each group you were linked with, and they send you packages as well. It is a fantastic way to learn about life in other parts of our country, through authentic artifacts and stories.
I hope this summer will be full of field trips to places you’ve never been and memories to last a lifetime! If you have a favorite field trip, please share in the comments. It doesn’t have to be one you’ve taken your children on; it could be one that stands out to you from your childhood! I look forward to hearing about all the places that hold a special place in your heart.