Toronto is filled with some incredible places to take the kids. Whether you go with some friends and family or hop in a bus for a trip coordinated by your community, after every adventure, the little ones return home more engaged and curious about how the world works. Here are a few benefits of field trips which we have found on the trips we experienced with our community this summer. Each trip most certainly left a positive, lasting impact the children (and their caregivers and parents as well!).
1. Learning about their community
Field trips give children the experience of learning about their community or their city in a way that they remember. Consider what kinds of trips you can make in your community, to increase their awareness of what’s going on around them, or even give them an opportunity to contribute. Some examples in Parkdale include the fire station, hospital, local businesses, and homes for the elderly. Each month for instance, the children of Creating Together go to a local home for the elderly for Circle Time. Here are some pictures of our visit to the Fire Station this summer!
2. An Introduction to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts
A destination like the Science Center can be more obvious for this, but you can even introduce STEM concepts at something like miniature golf. For example, get them to count their strokes, talk about the angle or force needed to get the ball in the hole. Many destinations these days also incorporate engaging technology applications designed especially for children to enhance their STEM skills. This picture here was taken at the Science Center’s “Kidspark”.
3. Interactive, Hands-on Learning
Children learn in a more hands-on and interactive way when they are out on trips. The Royal Ontario Museum, for example, has displays that the kids can touch to help them understand the material that is being covered. The High Park Nature Center and Toronto Botanical Gardens give kids an up-close experience of animal and plant life.
5. Better Connection with How the World Works
In this world of online information, one can get everything they need through the web. However, visiting a petting zoo to learn about animals, or a farm to learn about vegetables, kids get a clearer idea about how the animals live, and how plants vegetables grow.
6. Sparking New Passions
On field trips, kids learn about the world outside of the one they know, including different jobs, ideas and opportunities. It can spark the desire in a child to try new things, pursue a new dreams, and follow a new interest.
7. Improving Team Spirit / Belonging
When a group of children go out together from one destination to experience another outside of their own community, it gives them a chance to socialize while also promoting team spirit and group identity. It’s a great way to create memories to last a lifetime!