Essential Experiences – Ten Trips Out

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By Hilary White

Exploring the world beyond home and the setting is an essential experience for young children.
Here are some tips on 10 top trips to help you get out and about.

Children swimming pool lesson

Going out into the world beyond home and the setting is an essential experience for young children. Finding out how the world works and how they fit within it, is a crucial step for children in becoming independent and self-reliant members of the community. As with any learning, this begins in early childhood.

Trips and visits to carefully chosen locations open up endless discoveries and learning opportunities. Trips are also fun, exciting and offer novelty value – they give children lots of fresh new information to talk about and inform their play, once they return to the setting.

Although there are many different places to visit, the broad structure for any trip is similar:
1. Carry out a planning visit, liaising with personnel such as museum education officers, and take advantage of any early years provision they might offer.
2. Do a risk assessment and plan for as many helpers as possible.
3. Introduce the trip to the children and offer activities to help prepare them for where they are going.
4. During the trip, follow up on what interests the children.
5. Once back in the setting, talk about and make a record of the trip and/or introduce ways for the children to further explore the trip through play.

Planning any trip along these lines will help your children distil the essential experiences from their forays into the wider world.

The following list is just a starting point. What other essential experiences within the wider world could you add?

10 ideas for top trips:
1. Museums or art galleries
2. Down the street
3. Picnic
4. On the farm
5. Swimming
6. Shopping
7. Nature walk
8. Library
9. Castles
10. Visitors to setting

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