7 Tips for Planning a Successful Field Trip

Field trips include everything from a walk around the block to a visit to a local dairy farm. However, any outing requires proper preparation. Here are seven tips you can add to the planning of your home or school field trip.

Planning field trips

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Venturing outside the home or classroom environment allows everyone to stretch their legs, enjoy a change in routine, and explore the community hands-on. Options include a nature walk or a trip to the playground.

Find suggestions for frugal family field trips from Ben and Me and top 10 easy summer field trips from Creative Family Fun.

Careful planning is the first step towards enjoying a successful outing.

Here are a few suggestions that will help your field trip run smoothly:

  1. Use backpacks to carry essentials. They allow you to be hands-free to attend to the needs of the children, including holding hands as you walk around the neighborhood!

  2. Make a check list to identify essentials. The list may include a first aid kit, list of children’s names and emergency contact numbers, cell phone and hand wipes. 

  3. Confirm seating arrangements when using public transport. Attention must be given to the proper use of seat restraints and car seats, number of children in attendance, and minimum supervision required. Consult public transportation guidelines and licensing regulations as well as your insurance policy for current restrictions.

  4. Do not overlook footwear. Children should have appropriate outdoor clothing, including footwear. Specify rubber boots for the farm, water shoes for the pool, sneakers for the nature trail. Do a clothing check before departure.

  5. Collect permission slips.  Set a deadline for retrieving signatures. Your center’s policy for field trips should be included in the enrollment application package.

  6. Notify parents and guardians of your itinerary in advance. This may include altering pick-up times or other daily scheduling, in order to accommodate the field trip. Also, provide parents and guardians with a contact number of a staff person on the field trip.

  7. Determine if snacks and water will be required. This may depend on the nature of the field trip, accessibility of food and drinks while away from the center, or length of time of the outing. Some centers choose to provide snacks while others require parents or guardians to send a lunch or snack with the child.


Involving kids in the planning and preparation of your field trip will extend the learning opportunities.

Play to learn activities:

  • Kids can help by suggesting places to visit, necessary items to take along, and how to safely travel, whether by foot or by vehicle.
  • Make lists or charts and check off requirements and preparations as they are completed during the planning period.
  • Discuss what you might see or do on the outing. After the field trip, follow up by reviewing what was anticipated compared with what actually occurred.


Teachers and parents provide opportunities for kids to build teamwork and social skills as they plan and prepare together for a special outing.

Be sure to add a generous amount of excitement and anticipation to the agenda before you leave!

Happy trails!


 Visit our Outdoor Play Pinterest board for more ways to play outside the home or classroom!


More options for field trips




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