Field Trip Tips for your Home Daycare or your Family

Home daycare field trip Taking children on field trips can be lots of fun, but it can also be stressful. With a little planning, you can increase the fun factor and reduce your stress level. Today I will share some tips I have learned over the years.

Have the children wear the same colour shirts

When taking the children on a Field Trip, even if it's just to the local park, it's a great idea to have them all dress with the same colour shirts or even hats. It's much easier to locate them that way! I chose yellow and the children just pull the shirt over their clothes, but you can use any bright colour that stands out. You may even want to have your daycare's name printed on them for advertisement.

Make sure the children are dressed appropriately - including having sun screen

It goes without saying that you will all have a better day if the children are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear for the outing. In order to increase the likelihood of this happening, be sure to notify parents where you will be going and remind them of what is needed. In summer, this may include items such as sunscreen, hats, proper walking shoes, bathing suit and/or towel. In the spring and fall, you may also want to remind parents to bring a jacket or sweater, splash pants, boots, etc. In the winter, obviously a warm coat, snow pants, hat and mittens etc will be needed. Indoor shoes or slippers may be required for certain indoor playgrounds or drop in centers.

Ensure children are protected from the sun

It is essential to make sure children have sun screen on before they go out in the sun, and that it is reapplied as needed, especially if you are going to a water park or splash pad. I have read of children getting such serious burns while at daycare, that they required hospitalization. One can not give the excuse that the boys did not want to keep their shirts on - children do not know any better - we are the adults and need to protect them! It is also imperative to make sure the little ones are wearing their hats to prevent them from getting sunstroke. On really hot days (eg. when their is a heat advisory in effect), it is best to limit time outdoors or even stay inside all together.

Take snacks and water bottles to keep thirst and hunger away

Even if you'll only be gone to the park for a couple of hours, it's a good idea to take water bottles with you to keep everyone hydrated. For snacks, I often just throw in a couple of containers of Cheerios and Shreddies.

Take a group photo and individual photos

It's a wonderful idea to document your fun day, so you can share the experience with the daycare children's parents, or with your own family or friends. Children enjoy looking at pictures of themselves -especially when they were much younger.

"A photo is worth a thousand words!"

Another important reason for taking the time to snap a photo on your cell phone or camera at the very beginning of your day, is so you have a record of what the children were wearing and what they look like. Hopefully it will never be necessary, but if a child wanders off, it would be helpful to show a photo of the child and what clothing they had on to the staff and/or police, rather than just trying to remember and give a description from memory.

Make it a rule that favourite toys and blankies stay home

If you allow children to take favourite sleep toys or blankets with them to the park or elsewhere, there is the risk that they will not find their way back to your home. I don't believe you want that to happen. If you establish the rule that these items must stay at your home so they do not get lost, then you don't have the drama and tears that come by taking them away once you get to the place you are going. The children quickly learn the rules and abide by them, preventing many tears in future from lost items.

Use your camera to play Hide and Seek for misplaced items

If you do lose a hat, soother, shoe or anything else while at the zoo or other location, here's a tip that I have used on more than one occasion, and it saved me so much time in retrieving a lost item. Look at photos you've taken that day to see if you can narrow down where the child last had the item you are looking for. It may save you backtracking and looking in places that are not necessary. Below is an example of when I used this trick. It narrowed down where she had lost the hat. Another time, it was a sunhat that a little boy had lost somewhere at the local farm we visited. I checked my camera and knew exactly where it had been left. Ran to the sandbox - quickly retrieved it - and we were on our way! IMG_3892

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Remember to get and keep receipts for all expenses

When you file your taxes, you can write off expenses incurred when you take your daycare children on outings. Keep all receipts such as parking, items you may purchase for the children including meals and snacks, entrance fees etc. If you purchase an annual membership that will be used for your daycare children, this can be written off on your taxes as well. This includes places such as Conservation Areas, Museums and Zoos.

Have fun! Make memories! Don't sweat the small stuff!

Life is too short. Enjoy the day. Don't worry about little problems that really won't matter 5 years from now. Go have fun! Do you have any other tips, or favorite/humorous memories of a field trip you'd like to share?facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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