School trip! While these two words are the source of great excitement for your kids, they can cause nervous breakdowns for parents! While the importance of hands-on, experiential learning is well-known, with some studies suggesting that hands-on learning increases lesson retention by nearly 85%, as a parent the work required to organise these trips can seem daunting.
When I was young I was always very excited to go on a trip; however, I never considered how much organization was needed – my parents always took care of that! Now that it’s my turn I’m realizing how much effort these trips are – here are some tips to make things as easy as possible.
Talk to Your Kids
The first rule of school trip safety is talk to your kids, especially if it’s their first time.
Tell them what to expect, to stay with the group and close to the accompanying teaching staff. Go through any safety rules and ensure that they understand how they are supposed to behave.
Explain that school trips are fun and a privilege but safety rules still apply – the more you talk to them, they better they’ll understand what’s expected of them when you’re not there. Another great resources is a school trip guide -“Junior Tours offers great educational tour packages” to help you have this conversation with your children.
Talk to the Teacher
Before giving your child permission to go on a trip, discuss it with their teacher. Even if the destination sounds great and your kid is keen to go, it is important to know information concerning who else is going, the adult-to-child ratio, whether emergency contact information will be taken for each child and the transportation method – will a coach be organised or are parent volunteers needed to drive?
The trip destination will also affect how you prepare your kid. For example, you will need to pack differently if your child is going on a long country walk compared to if they are going to be visiting a museum. There might also be other items that your child is required to bring – make sure you check before the night before!
Send Your Contact Information
Children can go on their first trip at as young as four. For these little ones, if they find themselves separated from the group they might be too scared to approach someone and ask for help or if they’re upset they probably won’t remember their parents’ details or be able to communicate them clearly.
For peace of mind, try and attach your contact details to as many of your child’s belongings as possible, either using a marker pen or more durable clothing labels or name tags. This way, even if a kindly stranger can’t understand your child in their distress they will at least be able to contact you.
If uniform isn’t required for the trip then dress your child in brightly-coloured clothes – a bright green t-shirt is hard to miss in a crowd! More neutral colours tend to blend in with their surroundings so eye-catching shades will make it easier for accompanying adults to keep tabs on your little one.
Keep in Contact
Nowadays, it is really not difficult to contact someone who is far away. Giving your child a phone, even the most basic of bricks, allows them to contact you in case of an emergency, or vice versa. You can also always ask for a teacher’s number but do remember that they are responsible for lots of children and cannot be taking parent calls every 5 minutes.