Saturday, December 1, 2012

10 Great Destinations to Take Kids on a Field Trip

"Little Kids" Children's Zoo, St. Lo...
"Little Kids" Children's Zoo, St. Louis Zoo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by eNannySource:

Few events are as exciting to kids as the almighty field trip. The thought of escaping the confines of the home for an afternoon can send children into paroxysms of joy, leaving nannies struggling to keep up with their exuberant charges.

Here are 10 great field trip ideas to take the kids on that will help them learn in a more hands-on way, which aids greatly in retention and comprehension for some kids that struggle in those areas.
  1. Farms and Orchards – Helping kids understand where their food comes from can be as simple as planning a trip to a local farm or orchard. Most of these places are welcoming to playgroups and children’s organizations, even offering special activities and lessons for touring children.
  2. Petting Zoos – A visit to the petting zoo can provide kids with a hands-on lesson in caring for domestic animals, allowing them the chance to get up close and personal with animals that they might not have access to normally. Kids who live in dense urban areas are often limited in their opportunities to interact with any domesticated animals that can’t be kept as pets; a trip to a local petting zoo can help them have a personal experience with farm and barnyard creatures.
  3. Traditional Zoos – Learning about more exotic animals can be exciting for kids when it entails a trip to the zoo, where they are able to observe animals in an approximation of their natural habitats, and can even catch demonstrations from trained specialists.
  4. Living History Museums – Grasping the concept of life before electricity can be difficult for today’s always-on, constantly connected kids. A field trip to a living history museum can be like stepping into a time machine, helping kids learn more about their ancestors by watching actors portray a specific era in character.
  5. Botanical Gardens – For kids who are fortunate to live in an area with a botanical garden, the opportunities to examine many types of plants, small birds and insects are endless. Pairing natural science with a day outdoors, these field trips are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike.
  6. Art Museums – Many art museums have special sections that are specifically geared towards kids, providing them with the opportunity to learn about classic masterpieces and, in some cases, even create their own in workshops.
  7. Science Centers – Science centers and museums built solely for kids are always a good choice for field trips; the interactive exhibits and experiments are great ways for kids to grasp scientific concepts by seeing them in action, and are a welcome alternative to reading a description in their text books.
  8. National Parks – The options for education and fun at a national park are almost limitless, as most have specialized programs just for touring playgroups and kids’ organizations. These parks can be a wealth of knowledge, and provide kids with hours of educational fun.
  9. Wildlife Reserves – Petting and traditional zoos offer kids a chance to observe animals in something that resembles their natural habitat, but a wildlife preserve allows them the opportunity to see indigenous creatures actually surviving in the wild with limited human intervention.
  10. Local Historical Landmarks – It’s important for kids to understand their local history and heritage, and visiting local points of interest and historical sites can be a great way to do just that. Whether your group opts for a guided or self-guided tour, there’s plenty to learn about your city and its history from these local treasures.
Depending on your area, there can be dozens of great options for field trips. Many sites offer special tours or activities to playgroups, so look into what’s available near you.
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