Ahhh.... this morning was another beautiful, warm, breezy morning. Today was our first "field trip." After going to the National Child Care Conference in Nashville, and going to Patricia Dishler's workshops, I realized that getting out of the house is important for Family Child Care Providers, as well as the children in our care. Patricia went on a field trip, of some sort, every week, every week! I couldn't believe it. She popped those kids in the mini van and off they went; to the store, park, museums, zoo, mall, a hike, bakery, or just the grocery store. No, she didn't go to the mall for herself, she went so the kids could have an experience... how many kids go to the mall and are able to stop and look at the fountains? or squat down and check out the designs in the marble? or just stop and look in a window? Not many I know. When I take my boys to the mall it is get in, get out. "Come on, Come on!" is my mantra. Going to the bakery doesn't have to mean a tour... just going and looking at all those yummy treats, smelling what is baking, and using our senses can be just as fun (and more than likely someone will let you see the big mixers in the back or give out a free cookie if you smile enough). A field trip doesn't have to be some all day enterprise... just getting out and exploring your neighborhood is fun.
So, I decided that I would like to start out going on a field trip twice a month this year. Once a week might be a little to much for me with my group, but as they learn and grow, I think towards December/January, weather permitting, we can try once a week. But, let me tell you how it went today...
I got the seats all ready in the car last night (wanted to have a jump start this morning). The kids arrived and we played, brought the school age kids to the bus stop, had breakfast, and waited for Miss Beth and her crew to meet us. I gathered snacks, water bottles, and Little Man's diaper bag. We went over rules, went potty and we were ready... right?? No. Miss Michelle had the kids line up while she put everything in the car, then loaded the kids. Before pulling out I went over the check list in my mind... wait, forgot permission slips and emergency contact numbers. "Miss Beth, stand by the car while I run in??" "Thanks!!"
Ready right?? Nope... I need extra cloths, if someone has an accident. And a bag. Oh, and extra wipes. Ok, now were ready. Off we go... singing 5 Monkey Jumping on the Bed. Yeah, Park here we come :)
We get to a special park we have heard about from friends, that is nice and shady as well as fenced in. I can't find it. I pass the thing. We turn around and finally pull up to the most beautiful, fenced in, shady park I have ever seen. 2 play structures, 1 for toddlers and 1 for preschoolers. Nice. Lots of shady picnic tables and nice benches to sit on when a boo boo happens or if you need to feed a baby. BUT... no potty. What?? Did they say there was NO potty near by. Ok... put on the list for next time the little potty seat for the back of the car. Must have a potty.
All in all we had a great time. It was well worth the time getting ready and out. The kids loved it and can't wait to go back. Oh, and yes, I am sure you noticed something lacking on this post. I forgot my camera :) So, our first field trip and no photos. We will get the hang of this soon enough. I will have a bag of essentials next to the door at all times now, the potty seat can stay in the trunk of the mini van all the time (until we go on vacation), and I will make an extra copy of emergency numbers to stay in the essentials bag. There is a lot to be done and places to go... we are ready :) I will also remember to pack the camera!!!