One Sunflower

lily pops

on May 9, 2010

Field trips with preschoolers – my favorite part of teaching.  Despite rain or snow, mud or high water, I love going out into the world with preschoolers and their families.  The challenge at our school is that we live so far out in the county that it takes close to 30 or 40 minutes to get anywhere.  Being on the outskirts of town, there also aren’t many opportunities within walking distance.  So, with restrictions on our time, we are usually left with a limited venue of field trip possibilities.

I would love to go to the salt water park with the best tide pools but it’s 45 minutes away.  I would love to do some “downtown” trips – ride the city bus, visit the children’s museum, see the workings of a restaurant or a grocery store.  But since I only get two bus-supported field trips a year, I choose to take the kids outdoors. We visit a local pumpkin patch/apple/Christmas tree farm in the fall.  The owners focus on their apple produce and teach the kids about the importance of bees, how  apples are harvested and packed, or made into cider.  Mostly the kids remember the wagon ride to the pumpkin patch and seeing goats fetching feed that is hoisted by bucket to a platform.

For the past few years, we have chosen to join the other preschools in the district and make a trip to a  pond and farm park about 30 minutes away.  In the past we’ve had a park employee talk to us about bugs and frogs, marsh wrens and beavers but because of park budget cuts, the teachers are now responsible for being tour guides.  We lead the kids through the fragrance garden, rubbing leaves and sniffing our fingers, then walk on the board walk over the marsh, and climb up into a lookout tower.  In our last hour, we walk a quarter-mile to the other side of the park where there is a barn full of tractors, cages with bunnies and some feisty geese.  The playground is pitifully lacking in equipment but by then we are hurrying the children through their lunches and packing up for the  ride back so it really doesn’t matter that there are only two swings for the 50 kids we’ve brought to the park.

    

I’ve been coming to this park with preschoolers for years – it was a favorite of my own children too.  But this is the first year I had 2 children fall off the board walk into the brackish water.  They were scared but fine and luckily it was a warm day and their clothes were dry by the time we settled in for lunch –I had brought one spare set of clothes – but not two!

When we come to this park, all the learning that we’ve been doing in the classroom about frogs and pond life, barns and animal care, become more than pictures on the page.  This year, we read the book Tuesday during our unit on the frog cycle and the children wrote stories about flying lily pads. 

  

As we were walking on the board walk I heard a boy behind me say, “Look at all the lily pops!” 

 Ah – it makes my heart go pitter patter to correct the vocabulary and sit down with him and touch those green leaves as large and open as his smiling face.

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One response to “lily pops

  1. Teacher Tom says:

    I love field trip days too! They are the best.

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