How To Help Your Child Prepare For A Field Trip
A few tips for parents to provide some basic ideas that may help you’re your child while traveling on a field trip.
Consider the following ways to help prepare them-
- VIRTUAL TOUR: Take a virtual tour of the field trip site to educate yourself on the site and discuss with your child.
- EXPLORE: Show your child objects they may see on the field trip (e.g. flowers, mud, rocks, sand, etc.) and expose them to these objects prior to the field trip.
- COMMUNICATE: Discuss with staff any concerns you have about your child and/or aversions you feel they may have to certain aspects of the field trip (e.g. my child does not tolerate the feel of sand and reacts like this…). Discuss ways to address these aversions with staff and your child (depending on their age) prior to the field trip. For example, if your child has an aversion to sand, attempt to expose them daily to little bits of sand to help to decrease their aversion (start with using a stick to draw in a sand box, then next day encourage them to play with their pointer in the sand, and keep adding small steps until they are able to sit in the sandbox).
- TRAVEL: If the site is close and your schedule permits consider going to the site with your child during an off-peak time. Helping make it a more familiar place may help them to be more relaxed and able to learn when they are there with school.
- CALENDAR: Count down the days leading up to the field trip.
- SCHEDULE: Children benefit from structure and planning ahead to decrease anxiety and rushing. Ask the teacher to send home the field trip schedule and discuss this with your child the night prior to the field trip and in the morning before leaving if necessary. Teach them that unknown things will happen and that is okay and also the reason why it is best to plan in extra time.
- MORNING ROUTINE: Make sure your child has a good breakfast and a stress-free morning prior to going to school. Allow extra time in the morning so he or she is not rushing. Consider driving them to school that day to give you more time if you feel it is necessary. Make sure your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. Layer your child’s clothing if you are unsure of the weather. Consider laying clothing out the night before. Send a poncho if you are concerned about rain and your child tolerates one. Make sure IPOD or any other devices being sent are charged.
- VOLUNTEER: Discuss with your child’s teacher if they feel it would be helpful for you to go on the field trip with them.
- CHECKLIST: Use a checklist of what your child will need to take. Discuss this with them to help them to feel secure, decrease anxiety and facilitate independence in your child.
- AVOID STRANGERS: Instruct your child not to talk to strangers or accept the eatables or gifts from them.