Inside: Fun ideas for homeschool field trips that involve minimal contact and are perfect for social distancing
Due to recent events, homeschoolers everywhere have been affected in more ways than one. A big issue has been that we love our field trips and outings, but with social distancing rules and precautions, it can be difficult to plan fun educational outings for our children.
Here’s a list to help you plan learning-friendly trips while still keeping a safe distance this school year.
Distance-friendly Homeschool Field Trips
I’ve included both outdoor and indoor options for field trips simply because outdoor trips aren’t always an option (due to weather or seasonal changes). With social distancing in mind, outdoor trips are the better option. However, if taking the proper precautions and avoiding activities that include lots of touching (other people or hands-on exhibits, etc.), indoor field trips can still be a viable option.
Our state is full of official state parks worth visiting. Depending on where you live and the availability of state parks, this is a great option! They normally are not only beautiful outdoor spaces, but they also come with history lessons. Living history is always better than a dry page from a textbook!
My kids enjoy nature lessons, and hiking trails are a simple way to take in the great outdoors. Sometimes we’ll bring along their nature notebooks so we can record what they see. Other times, we’ve done fun nature scavenger hunts to see how many seasonal items we can find while we’re out.
Even if you don’t have any set structured activity in mind, children naturally learn when they’re allowed to be free outside. It may be a physical lesson in balance or a science lesson on arthropods or fungi, but children are excellent observers when given the chance.
Caves and Caverns
Another fun outdoor space to explore is a local cave or cavern. These are, of course, similar to the learning experience offered by hiking trails but include different sights and structures to observe. If there are any in your area or even at a small distance (you could make a day trip of it), it’s something that most kids are sure to find interesting.
Zoos (with proper precautions)
Many zoos are still open but may be operating under shortened hours and restricted access. Some of the zoos in our area are only letting a certain number of people in at a time and reserving tickets for certain times of day.
But the zoo is always a fun option, especially if your children are interested in animals or if you’re studying them this year.
Another great outdoor option is to visit a local farm. Again this is something that we have lots of in our area but may not be available to some. Search for farms near you, and see what comes up!
Visiting a farm gives children the opportunity to see food being grown and animals being cared for. On some farms, they also keep bees, which are always fascinating. During certain seasons they may also have hayrides, apple picking, and pumpkin painting available.
These go hand-in-hand with the outdoor option of zoos and are often a package deal. Again, there may be set restrictions to follow, but some aquariums are still open. Bring hand sanitizer and a stroller for any little ones that may want to wander and stick their face against the glass.
This is a great trip to pair with a Marine Biology unit like this one from the Good and the Beautiful. It’s been one of my kids’ favorite science units that we’ve done so far. And it’s FREE to download.
Other No-Touch Exhibits
Look into other exhibits available in your area. While we love hands-on learning facilities like COSI, we’re currently avoiding anything that includes lots of touching. Maybe you have a local reptile exhibit or a traveling dinosaur show will be coming to town. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities like this one and check out what precautions you’ll have to take if you go.
Art museums can be another great resource for learning. In our homeschool, we do artist and picture studies. The kids enjoy seeing different kinds of art and trying to imitate it themselves after we’ve studied the style of each painter. Taking a fun field trip to see collections of art in person would be even better!
If you’re worried about content, go to the museum’s website and look at what pieces are being featured. You may be able to preview them before taking your kids.
What other trips are on your list this year? Leave a comment below to share your ideas with other homeschooling families!
Until next time,
New here? Learn more about us on this page!