Americans are working longer hours and more. In fact, studies show that 80% of Americans continue to work even after they have left the office for an average of 7 additional hours each week. With that said, it's difficult to handle a busy work schedule and still take care of your children. As a result, many busy parents elect to put their child through day care. Many day care centers have elaborate educational programs set up to broaden your child's horizons. In particular, many programs plan field trips, so your child can see the world with their own eyes. Here are three ways you can take advantage of these activities and prepare your child for field trips.
Pack the Essentials the Day Before
Expect the morning of the field trip to be busy. It's easy for both you and your child to forget important essentials amongst the excitement of embarking on a new adventure. Some important things that you might want your child to have include the following:
- permission forms or emergency consent cards. Most of the time, the day care centers will have requested for these forms to be submitted ahead of time;
- a charged cellphone. If your child is old enough, you may want him or her to have a cellphone in their backpack with them in case of emergencies;
- first aid kits like bandages and other supplies that may come in handy;
- appropriate attire for the weather. Don't forget to pack sunscreen and a hat for hot, summer days and an extra jacket or a scarf for cold, winter ones;
- lunch, snacks and beverages. Make sure your child will be properly fed, so he or she can properly enjoy the field trip;
- a camera if necessary to document the trip and anything exciting your child may see.
You should also consider picking out your child's outfit the night before. It's best to choose older clothes that your child won't mind getting dirty because there's a good chance he or she may be spending a lot of time running around.
Explore Ideas or Concepts That May Be Explored During the Trip Days in Advance
Depending on where your child is going, you may want to explore some ideas or concepts that he or she will learn during the trip several days prior. Studies suggest that children really do learn a considerable amount of things during field trips. It's a lot easier for them to absorb new ideas and concepts when the ideas and concepts are presented right in front of them. Review the itinerary of the field trip ahead of time to determine whether there are any specific ideas or concepts that you would like your child to focus on.
For example, if your child is going to the aquarium, now might be a good time to bring up some cool facts regarding marine biology. On the other hand, if your child is going to a historical site, you might want to give your child a brief history review before the day of the field trip. This way, the field trip will reinforce some of the more important ideas and concepts and will become much more meaningful for your child.
Remind Your Child to Be Aware of the Surroundings and Report All Suspicious Activities
Unfortunately, child abduction is a very real problem. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, nearly 800,000 children are reported each year. To prevent your child from becoming a statistic, make sure you reiterate the dangers of speaking to strangers. Remind your child to be aware of his or her surroundings at all times and to report any suspicious activities, like a stranger asking them to go with them to see something exciting, to one of the adult supervisors.
Field trips can really broaden your child's perception of the world, as they witness different environments and indulge in different experiences. By preparing your child for field trips, your child will be able to better take advantage of the wonderful opportunity given to them, to learn different sets of skills and to learn how to stay safe. For more information or advice, see a website such as http://miniapplemontessori.com.