FIELD TRIP EXTENSION IDEAS: OCEANS & AQUARIUMS
I am a strong supporter of hands-on learning.
Whether it is in school, at home or on a field trip, I believe children learn best when they are actively involved in the learning process.
When I plan a field trip, I like to set up additional learning opportunities for my children at home.
A few summers ago, my family and I spent time exploring the beaches of Southern California. We also visited the Long Beach Aquarium.
I decided that I wanted to expand upon what we were learning “on the road” with additional activities at home. Here’s a small glimpse into what we did.
We did a variety of activities before and after an outing.
I am a big proponent of Montessori activities for young children. When my daughter was a toddler and early preschooler, we did a lot of fine motor skills activities. Montessori’s early lessons teach children important life skills. For example, learning how to properly use a spoon is a life skill you use when eating at the dinner table.
Montessori education has a specific way you are suppose to present a child with a new activity. For example, for younger children activities are presented on a tray. I am not a Montessori purest in any form, but I like this aspect of their educational philosophy. Presenting an activity on a tray makes it easier for the child to understand the directions better. Furthermore, the child is responsible for cleaning up the activity when they are finished. Bonus point for mom!
I also like to use themed based printables with my children. In the picture above, my daughter is sorting sea shells into different size categories; small, medium and large. This activity also functions as a vocabulary activity too.
I recommend visiting www.1plus1plus1equals1.com for printable ideas for your family. Just pick one or two ideas and give it a whirl.
For Montessori activities, I recommend visiting Deb Chitwood’s, from Living Montessori Now, Pinterest board. http://www.pinterest.com/debchitwood.
Her board is chalked full of ideas.
For my son, I printed out sea life mazes and dot to dots online. At the time, that’s all that he was into!
We also did some really neat arts and crafts during the summer that went along with our theme.
I hope I have inspired you today to try some new hands-on learning activities with your children, either before or after your next family field trip. Now go out there and explore the world around you!
Happy Field Tripping,
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Disclosure: SoCal Field Trips went on a personal field trip to The Long Beach Aquarium. All opinions are our own.
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