Field trip journals for autistic children? What are these? How can they help children with special needs learn?
A field trip journal is a special notebook that is used to write down details from a field trip. It can be used to record what the child has seen, to glue various papers collected throughout the field trip and as visual support to share the details of the day with someone else such as a parent, sibling or friend.
These are my tips for having a smoothe and stress-free field trip experience and recording it in a field trip journal for autistic children!
Prepare your trip before you go
- Involve your child in planning the trip. Look up pictures and places on the computer together. Make a list of places you would like to visit. Decide who you will bring and what you will see when you go!
- Plan the transportation you will use to get there in advance to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible. You want to avoid any additional travel stress or melt-downs that may deter from the joy of a field trip day!
- Create visual support to prepare your child for the field trip. Show him or her pictures of where you will be going, write a list of what you will see and review it with your child at least 2-3 times before your field trip day arrives to avoid confusion and stress.
- Bring snacks. (If you’re in the mood for cookies, check out the best molasses cookies recipe.)
- Plan specific activities for the day of the field trip. Explain to your child that you are looking for a particular item in a museum, a certain number of shells at the beach or a red flower in the playground. These types of field trip day goals keep your child motivated and engaged.
- Get excited about the details of your field trip and share that excitement with your child. You can says things like : “Yay, we are going to the beach tomorrow! Let’s pack your backpack!” or “I can’t wait to see the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum this week! Let’s draw a dinosaur!”
Some questions to answer in field trip journals for autistic children
- Where did you go? (City, neighborhood, museum, etc.)
- What did you see?
- Specific questions about what was visited. (How big was it? What color was it? What time period did it come from?)
- Who were you with? (Mom, dad, brother, sister, school, friends…)
- What was your favorite part of the day? (Eating ice cream, seeing giant dinosaurs, playing in the park…)
Do you organize field trips with your child? Have you ever kept a field trip journal? I would LOVE to hear about your experiences in the comments below!
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