Field trips are essential for every class, especially young children. It is a chance to get out, explore, learn about new places by actually going there and see what life is like. Unfortunately, when winter weather sets in, field trips can become more difficult to organize. In the tropics, it’s not a problem as there is no ice or snow, but that is not true in more temperate climates.
Little children, because of their smaller mass, tend to get cold faster. They also charge around, having accidents and parents can get upset if their young get injured. Outdoors for long periods may not be the best during periods of cold weather. There are some fun field trips that can be scheduled.
Museums are always fascinating and fun, and everywhere has some sort of museum. Take your young charges to learn about history, art, geology or nature. Go behind the scenes by getting the curator to talk about how the museum gets and preserves specimens. Tell the children why the museum is important. The museum is definitely a great winter field trip.
Want more excitement than a museum, try the fire station! Even a small rural community will have a station with lots of equipment that the children will, hopefully only see on television, but will find intriguing. They can climb in the truck, wear a fireman’s hat, or maybe even get to honk the horn! Fire stations are warm, friendly places and great for field trips.
After the fire station, consider the police. Children need to realize that police are there to help people as much as to prevent crimes, but they also need to see how much stuff is involved in criminal investigations. Police use microscopes and computers as well as guns and radios. They have laboratories as well as shooting ranges and jail cells. Being a police officer is complex, exciting and requires a lot of commitment, this can be best learned on a field trip to the station!
After the fire station and police station, the next community place to visit is the local hospital. See what the surgery room looks like and get nurses to explain what all those monitors mean. Put a kid in a stretcher or wheel chair, they will remember it better. One of the doctors can explain about vaccinations and medications for preventing diseases. All hospitals are warm, child friendly and make wonderful field trip destinations!
Rural schools can visit a farm in the winter and learn more about how the animal survive in the cold. Dairies are a lot of fun with big warm, smelly cows and lots of milking equipment. Poultry Egg Farms not only have chickens, but conveyors for feeding, egg collecting, and even washers for the eggs and clothes. Go to a greenhouse farm and let the children discover how flowers can bloom in the dead of winter if kept warm, moist and given the right like.
Every place has something that the children will like to visit on a field trip and they can all be safe for children. Most will give free tours just for the publicity. So don’t let the cold weather keep the class in, get out and explore with a winter field trip!