Ahh, field trips. Remember those great adventures from your not-so-distant past? School days and classroom sessions felt a little ho-hum compared to the excitement of everyone in your class piling on a bus and heading out to learn in the real world.
While you felt very much like a kid in the classroom, you felt totally adult out in public on a field trip. You felt EXTRA good about being in charge of keeping your class’ lines straight or buddy system intact - the responsibility felt good! Away from the walls of your typical classroom and immersed in the new environment of a field trip, you felt your potential skyrocket. Maybe field trips are what kick-started your love for travel, or fascination with museums?
Field trips were certainly that catalyst for us. A team-wide survey here at Goosechase found that field trips ranked amongst the best memories of our elementary and high school years. We doubt that’s changed much for today’s students, who spend more time in front of a screen for school than we ever did.
As fully grown adults, we can appreciate all the hard work, sweat, and tears that go into planning and executing a fun, educational, memorable, and of course, safe field trip. Can we help you tick those boxes? Check out these fun field trip ideas that both students and teachers will enjoy (and maybe even a few parents, too - can’t forget about those essential volunteers!).
Field Trips Are a Great Way to Engage Students in Learning
Schools are a terrific place for active learning, but every once in a while, you have to “go to the source,” so to speak, and challenge your students to learn through adventures. Field trips are a great opportunity to experience life outside the classroom.
We’re not surprised that the NEA (National Education Association) says educational field trips contribute to better student outcomes in school and beyond. Carylann Assante, executive director for Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA), believes that:
Today’s students are visual learners, and a field trip lets them touch, feel and listen to what they’re learning about, which helps them build on classroom instruction, gain a better understanding of topics, build cultural understanding and tolerance, and expose them to worlds outside their own.
In a piece on student engagement strategies, the George Lucas Educational Foundation seconds the idea that field trips are worth the effort. The article reveals that culturally-enriching trips can boost grades, while decreasing absences and behavioral infractions – results we’d say are worth every effort!
While we agree wholeheartedly with what the experts have to say, we didn’t really have to do all that scholastic research to prove what we already know is true. Field trips are an oft-cited “favorite memory” from school. Now that we are adults, though, we can really understand just how much time and effort it takes to plan and coordinate a meaningful field trip. We want to make it easier for today’s teachers, so their students can have great field trip experiences, too.
Fun Field Trip Ideas
Field trips or tours don't need to be elaborate productions to have a big impact on your students. Even a trip to a local business or an excursion around the school yard or a nearby park can pack a punch. Here are some fun field trip ideas for children of all ages that are both engaging and stimulating:
- Artist for a Day: In an age when many schools are trimming the art budget, you can contact a local art school or museum to put together an “Artist For a Day” field trip. Ask them to explain what art is, and give your students a chance to practice some of their observational skills by discussing paintings or sculptures. Have students create their own masterpieces, which you can then assemble into an art exhibit at school.
- Study Science: Look at the resources in your local community. Many areas have an aquarium, zoo, planetarium, or botanical gardens that would be thrilled to provide tours for your students. Adapt our Goosechase aquarium experience to get your students even more involved by completing photo, video, and text missions about the different species they encounter. Use our Zoo Adventure to help younger students learn about the different types of animals, or the Biology Zoo Trip for older students. If your area does not have a major science facility, an outdoor field trip to a park or local farm can be the perfect opportunity to connect with nature.
- Historical Sites: Learning about history from books can be dull, but what group of children wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to recreate an actual battle scene? Just about every town has a place where something interesting happened in the past that led to the town’s formation, so why not give your students a chance to get to know more about their hometown? Depending on the site, they may offer tours or have re-enactors who dress in period costume and teach visitors about what life was like in their day. Check out the Gettysburg Field Trip to find ideas for Goosechase missions that match your town’s unique history.
- Fall Fun: Since students head back to school in the fall, visit a pumpkin patch or local farm for a harvest festival. They’ll have a great time learning about where food comes from, where harvested crops go, and they might even learn about healthy eating, too!
Goosechase is here to help create great memories for today’s students with fun and educational field trips. A dynamic learning experience in school can lead to better outcomes in life (and set the scene for powerful bonds and memories), and we think that’s a good thing for everyone!
What is Goosechase EDU?
Goosechase is an online platform that helps educators create and run interactive learning experiences in their classrooms and beyond. Sign up and try creating an Experience, or contact us to learn more about our school and district-wide solutions!