With so many families' schedules changing, and homeschooling being the "new normal," we came up with a few creative ideas to expand the classroom. We know there are many benefits of learning outside the home and how incredibly important it is for homeschooling families. Here are a few of the top reasons to take your family on a field trip:
- Brings life to printed materials
- Explores alternative learning styles
- Makes learning a family activity
- Applies what kids are studying to real world examples
- Trains children to be lifelong learners
- and so much more!
Tips for preparing successful field trips to everyday places:
- Let your kids help choose the field trip. You can let your kids choose the next destination from a list you make, or pick one from a jar. Whenever your kids ask questions about something, write down an excursion that would help them explore the answer and add it to the list or jar.
- Visit the website for the store or destination, even if you don’t think they’ll have anything helpful there. You may be surprised what you'll find on a store or organization’s website. For example, we discovered Walker Art Center is hosting an online event Free First Saturday At Home. They have invited everyone to join them for a series of performances, demonstrations, and even at-home art activities!
- Don’t answer all your kids’ questions. Encourage your kids to ask employees questions. They’ll learn people skills and how to get answers from someone besides parents. It will also give you a break from all the why’s and what’s that’s!
- Have a few key points or “truth nuggets” you’d like your kids to discover on the trip. Lead them towards these discoveries while you’re out, but keep the list short so you can have freedom to explore other interests.
- Let them go off on a tangent. Who knows what they’ll discover when you’re flexible with your plan. Let them explore what interests them and you will inspire a joy of learning.
- Have your children give a field trip report at the dinner table. We're big fans of the dinner table school report. Reiterating what your kids learned on their field trip will help them retain their knowledge and build community within your family.
Minneapolis and St. Paul Field Trip Destinations
- Mill City Museum: Learn about how the millers at the Washburn mills in the 1870s perfected a new process for milling, "a revolution that made fine wheat flour available to the masses for the first time. Soon thereafter Minneapolis became the flour milling capital of the world, a title it held from 1880 to 1930."
- The Stone Arch Bridge: Take a walk across the bridge and read all about how it used to carry two tracks into downtown Minneapolis and at its peak brought 80 passenger trains a day into Union Station.
- Walker Art Center Sculpture Gardens: Combine their online activities with a stroll past the some of Minnesota's most iconic sights, like the Spoonbridge and Cherry or the Blue Rooster.
- Sidewalk Harp: Engage the musical senses with the Sidewalk Harp at the Be The Match headquarters in Minneapolis. This whimsical outdoor instrument can be played by pedestrians waving their hands beneath the sculpture’s glowing LED lights, each one producing a distinct musical tone. The “strings” can be “plucked” individually, or “strummed” so they resonate together. The light sensors pulse purple, blue, red, green, and white, producing a unique sound with each different color.
- Minnehaha Falls: Did you know Minnehaha Falls and the surrounding land became on of the first national state parks when Minnesota purchased it in 1889? It's the perfect location to get your kids out in the sun with fresh air and nature all around. Bring some notes from the Regional Park website to learn about the area, and maybe even a picnic to make it a full-day activity!
- The Sites of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A great way to bring work in the classroom to life is by visiting the sites of literary figure, F. Scott Fitzgerald! Have your kids, or maybe even the whole family, read The Great Gatsby, then bring him to life by seeing his landmarks in St. Paul. Be inspired by the historical touches of his birthplace, as well as the beautiful late Victorian homes of the area.
- Minnesota State Capitol Mall: A walking tour down the Minnesota State Capitol is both refreshing and educational as the gardens and paths are filled with plaques that will teach about important events and people who are honored throughout.
Take the Field Trip Experience to a New Level
Pack your bags, grab the kids, and let us take you everywhere you want to go! We'll bring you to all of the historical and creative sites for your family field trip. Maybe even end the day with supporting your favorite local restaurants. Give us a call at 763-551-1919 or email us for more information!
We are licensed and authorized to provide safe and essential transportation for the public during these times.