Can you think of a place you visited as a kid? I still remember going to a sugar cane mill in Florida that made cane syrup; and all of us kids were given a short stalk of sugar cane to chew. YUM!
Field trips are a great way to teach AND learn. There are times I wonder if I like field trips more than my children do! I love finding new places to explore, and we have had some interesting excursions around South Carolina and beyond. If you need some fresh ideas, here are a few that we have enjoyed.
You never know what you might find downtown in your city right under your nose. Our city had a children’s park built under one of the highways. I had no idea it was there!
State and Local Museums
These are the big guys…the museums everyone knows about and goes to. While they are fun and should be visited, I find them crowded and expensive, but they are still fun to visit at least once.
Hands-On Children’s Museums
These are the museums I really like. Safe places where the kids can “Get messy! and Make mistakes!” Plus, the one near our house is only $5 per person for ALL day!
We do go to the zoo, but down the road is a really neat place where the animals of Hollywood retire. (Did you know that they retire animals?) Among the “stars” is the lion used as a model for the movie, The Lion King, and a rhino used in commercials. But they also do animal programs and we get to feed the deer. Yes, this is a picture of a bison eating right from a hand!
A local dairy, apple picking, and strawberry picking. FUN!! PLUS….free ice cream samples at the dairy. YUM!
State parks and aquariums. The beach and the mountains. We are blessed to be able to see God’s creation in many forms.
South Carolina History
If you notice, there are silver historical markers put up all over the place. Stop and read one. You never know what you might find! Plus, if you ever have a chance to go to a reenactment…GO! You won’t be disappointed.
The kids decided they wanted new toys. I told them they had to use their own money. They worked extra chores, saved, and then we took a trip to the Target. They picked out what they wanted within the money amount they had and then they had to go through the line, communicate with the check-out person, and pay for their item. It was a GREAT real-life experience! We’ve also had a behind-the-scenes look at our local Publix. This fall we’ll be visiting the local police station. There are so many options for field trips!
Holidays are a perfect excuse to go see something that happens once a year. Parades, displays…and corn mazes! We also have a family tradition of chopping down our Christmas tree…although this past year we went to the mountain and bought one pre-cut. Maybe this year we’ll find the perfect one still growing!
Off the Beaten Path
Sometimes it’s just good to climb in the van and see where we end up. Botanical gardens, babbling brooks, and old trading posts. You never know what kind of adventure you will have!
We’ve gone to the beach and to Florida as a family, the four of us. But we had the opportunity to take an extended field trip to England this summer. But not just the four of us. Nope, Grandma went with us! My children had 13 uninterrupted days of life with Grandma. And while all of England was spectacular, I think the memories we made together as a family are priceless.
This is a field trip category that I plan on growing. While visiting different locations and seeing amazing sights are great, ministering to people along the way is of eternal value. My husband has now been to Nicaragua twice on mission trips. I am waiting for the day when we can go on a mission trip as a family. I’m not sure what that might look like, but I want my children to see the value in serving others.
It is our experiences in the world that influence us – and then we influence our children. If we have a service mind set, then it will be easier to transfer that heart, that love of people, to our little ones. Field trips are an amazing way to teach our children about the love of God!
What amazing field trip have you been on recently?
To see other field trip ideas click on the Hip Homeschool Moms image below and check out their field trip guide!