A day out with the kids should be a fun treat for the whole family. A chance to go somewhere new, see something unexpected, and learn something interesting.
So how do you decide where to go and how do you make a fun trip educational, and, indeed, an educational trip fun?
Rossall School explain how to go about planning a day trip that is educational, without sacrificing the all-important fun.
Choosing where to visit
Britain is filled with interesting places to visit. Whatever interests your children have, from animals to aeroplanes, there is often somewhere to visit that provides a fun environment that can at the same time be educational. These places can also teach your children more about their preferred interests, as well as focus on those topics they’ve been learning and enjoying at school.
Destinations could range from theme parks and museums to places of historical significance, like castles and Victorian manors to farms, nature reserves, and zoos.
Because of the sheer variety of potential trips, it’s a good idea to narrow down your choices to categories that match your child’s particular interests. Science, wild animals, and trains, for instance. Not only does this mean your child will be excited about going on the trip, but they should almost certainly be more engaged with the attractions and exhibits during the visit.
Try using websites like TripAdvisor or tourism board sites to identify the best places to take the kids for the day. It’s worth looking for the rating of the destination. It’s also a good idea to research what’s around it, such as restaurants, shops, picnic sites, and play areas to help you can plan your day.
Also, check the busiest visiting times. It might be worth planning your trip to avoid these times, so you can see everything without the hustle and bustle of big crowds.
How is the trip educational?
The National Trust website has a fantastic section on fossil hunting, as well as information about other places to visit where parents and kids can enjoy the great outdoors and explore.
Tying a day trip to such an interest is a great way for your children to engage in their favourite subjects, but it can also introduce them to new ones or topics they’re learning at school. In the case of a trip to the beach or a nature reserve, this could be an interest in nature and biology.
Making sure the trip’s fun
For a child, a trip to a museum or country estate might not sound particularly fun or interesting. So, when looking at potential destinations to visit, as part of your planning, it’s a good idea to look at similar options to see which attraction will be more entertaining for the kids.
A castle, for instance, with grounds and gardens open to the public, provides a nice walk and the chance to see some interesting insects, birds and wildlife. Whereas a castle that presents displays of medieval life, with knights and jousting events, which visitors can watch and take part in, provides children a with a fun way to build their knowledge of history.
Activities like this, which allow children to get involved, do something tactile and hands-on is a great way for them to learn. It can also help them understand a particular topic better and make it more memorable.
The British weather can be temperamental and hinder some day trips, especially those outdoor. So it’s wise to look at other options nearby, should the weather take a turn for the worse.
If you’re planning a trip and you’re worrying that the weather might be an issue, consider looking at visits with mainly indoor activities. Aquariums and science museums, for instance, are indoor attractions that are both fun and educational and ideal for a rainy day.
When it comes to thinking about fun and educational places to take the kids, it’s a good idea to plan ahead too. So the next time your child comes home talking about what they’ve learned at school, or proudly announces some new knowledge about their latest interest, keep a note of it and think about using that to inspire where you can go for your next family day out.
* Collaborative post