Keep your child entertained while learning! Here are some suggestions on how to make your next family outing an educational one.
Do your research
In every province and territory, many opportunities can be found for fun family trips where the accent is on learning. It could be a local farm, heritage park, theme museum or one of several other options. Regardless of the field-trip-inspired location you plan to visit, the first step is to do some research! Bone up on the facts. Find out what’s relevant about the place. Does it have any unique or interesting features? What can be a stepping stone to conversation? Think of some lead-in questions, and make sure you have the correct answers to all the questions you might be asked.
Use the school curriculum as a guide
What has your child studied or is currently studying? First Nations culture? Democracy? The environment? Aviation? The performing arts? Whether your child is in a public, private, separate or a home-school environment, think about what has piqued your child’s interest. Use that as a guide for your next family outing, and go from there.
Check for special programs
Some parks and museums offer special programs for children and students to enhance their experience. Depending on the venue, they may have interesting activities to do, such as dress-up wear, psuedo-archaeological digs, interpretive painting, cultural immersion, question and answer periods, documentary movies and hands-on experience. Check it out ahead of time, and be sure to use the resources available.
Keep the discussion going
Keep up the dialogue after the trip is over. Be sure to encourage your child to look into the subject matter if they are interested, and take them to your local library for research opportunities, or rent movies on the subject. Have them document what they experienced and learned in a personal journal. Encourage your child to sketch or paint a scene from memory of an aspect of the trip that resonated with them. Ask lots of questions, and be prepared to supply an equal number of answers.
Ideas for an educational family outing
- A local working farm
- A community theatre performance
- A historical village
- A hands-on science-theme centre
- A pick-your-own fruit or veggie farm
- A family cooking class
- The zoo
- A dude ranch
- A fire hall
- Free classes at a home improvement, crafts or art store
- An art gallery
- A nature walk
- A bird sanctuary
- The airport or an aviation museum