There is reading about a place, then there is actually going there. Field trips make history come alive! Think back to those times when you have thought about the sacrifices American soldiers have made for your freedom, versus the visual reminders of a memorial etched with names or the precise rows of crosses at Arlington National Cemetery. Which makes a bigger impact? For me, it is the visual reminder. A kid can read about history and will forget much of it. If you show a kid history, it will
capture her imagination and stay with her.
There are a few things you can do to enhance a history field trip. If you are going to invest time and money to travel and make history come alive, you want to get as much out of your investment as possible. Here are my tips to make it worth your while:
involves, the better recall will be and more learning styles will be engaged. If you see it, taste it, smell it, feel it, and hear it, you will not soon forget it. Look for opportunities to touch artifacts. If there is an opportunity to try food of another culture or era, go for it! If you can hear and smell the animals, listen to period music or theater and wear the garb of by-gone eras, jump on the opportunity. My girls put together colonial costumes for Williamsburg and really enjoyed the costumed guides treating them like colonial residents. Sometimes vacation is a synonym for food for this family, so we have no problem hunting down authentic cuisine. An app like Yelp can be a big help in an unfamiliar area.
making learning practical. Think age appropriate and consider what your child’s interests are. And if they really want to spend their own money on glittery objects with no other correlation to your destination, other than the name stamped in pink glitter *sigh* let it go. My favorite purchase was the wooden “homatawk” my then five year old wanted at Jamestown. It built many Indian encampments in our yard before it fell apart last year.
trip. They look back and crack up at what impressed their small selves: playgrounds, pancakes and toy stores are all worthy of journal entries.
Do you have other great tips? Leave them in the comments for our awesome readers! I have some great trips with specific activities lined up for you to explore in future posts. I hope you enjoy and get out there and bring history to life!
See my Colonial Williamsburg history field trip post, too!
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