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Memorable Outings

Going on outings helps children learn more about the world in which we live. Outings should be a learning experience for everyone involved, even the adults who go with the children. Trips create memories and provide us with new information about discoveries, perceptions and people.

Good planning for the outing with your child can help make it more successful. Do things with your child¹s interests in mind. Even if it's an errand you need to run -- think about how your child can enjoy the trip.

Places to go:

Wherever you live, there are places to go to enjoy time with young children. Your local library can be a great place to take your child and give you ideas about other places to go in your area. They don't have to be fancy! You can:

  • take a "Looking Up" walk or a "Looking Down" walk with your child.
  • go to the laundromat or dry cleaners and ask to look in the back where the cleaning is done.
  • visit the post office and ask to see where the mail is sorted.
  • visit your local police, fire station or car repair.
Things to think about:
  • Where can we go? or Where do we have to go? (Some valuable trips can be from running errands.)
  • What will my child see on this trip?
  • When would be the best time to go?
  • Who could go with us?
  • How can we talk about what we are going to do or where we are going? What does my child already know?
  • What behavior can I expect my child to have?
  • If things don't go well, how can the trip still be a good learning experience?
Generate ideas for success:
  • Bring an emergency "bag of tricks" (crayons and paper, small book, small toys) with a snack in case you are delayed or have to wait.
  • Establish firm, unbreakable rules (no running ahead, hold hands, stop at the corner)
  • Talk, help write and draw about the outing before and after the outing.
  • Ask questions about the trip to increase learning and thinking: How many shirts do you think were in the cleaners? Do you think the bank teller gets tired of counting money? Why do you think the area where the milk is in the grocery store is so cold?
  • Listen to the kinds of questions your child is asking. Listen to what they are describing and talking about.
  • Watch and see what you child enjoys about the place. Maybe there are things that you can bring back and try at home.
Bring ideas, experiences and feelings home with you and talk about it. Your learning experiences can continue to grow when you talk about your outing after you arrive home.