Whether your child goes to school with extra support at home or is homeschooled, field trips are a wonderful complement to any curriculum. Going outside of the home to have different kinds of experiences, opens up your child’s world and gives him or her a variety of new learning opportunities.
I believe it is wonderful to pair knowledge with experiences. Studying Monet? Visit Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. Reading about the Eiffel Tower? Go and see it! Learning about ducks? Go and take a look for yourselves at a nearby pond!
Autistic children have a hard time imagining something out of context. Learning about a duck and seeing photos of it is not the same as seeing a duck in a pond or feeding a duck at the petting zoo. All of these different experiences will help your child learn new vocabulary, navigate varied everyday and social experiences and have fun!
I recommend giving your child a specific task (or tasks) during your field trip. This will help to keep him or her focused, concentrated on the task at hand, occupied in a fun activity and motivated.
I have a list of field trip ideas + related activities that I am always adding to for our little ones. What’s on my current list?
♥ Visiting the zoo and looking for specific animals. You can prepare a photo list of 8 – 10 animals in advance. Simply list animals by name with a large photo. Have your child find the animals on the list! My favorite zoo in Paris is in the Jardin des Plantes.
♥ A walk around the botanical gardens and coloring a floral coloring page.
♥ Attending a group story time at the local library and taking out a book to read at home. During quiet group activities, I recommend bringing along a fidget to help with sitting still, listening and staying focused on listening.
♥ Going for a nature walk and making a hedgehog.
♥ Visiting the fish at your local aquarium and making silly fish faces.
♥ Visiting an interactive museum and participate in the different activities.
♥ Spending an hour or two at the “ludothèque”. Play with 4 or 5 different toys. In Paris, a “ludothèque” is like a library for toys. You can borrow toys and bring them home.
Where do you like taking your kids for field trips? I would love to hear your field trip ideas!
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