Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Field Trips And Falling In Line

Take a group of 3 to 4 year olds on a field trip (without their parents) and ask them to fall in line. 

It usually doesn't last very long - the line, not the field trip. Because it also takes so much effort making them fall in line, I don't ask them to fall in line for the rest of the trip. 
I want them to enjoy seeing, hearing, touching, smelling (and maybe tasting) everything about the field trip but also keeping them in view.

Trips in restaurants, fire stations and play areas are usually better (in terms of keeping them all together) 
than wide parks.

The first time we went to Aspire Park, Doha, 
I felt a bit nervous.

And so when we went to Aspire Park the 
second time around 
(with totally different batch of kids in tow),
I was more confident and ready.

Because I already knew quite a few things about field trips:

When you have to walk as a group, ask them to hold hands.
Hold the hand of two kids (take the most active ones)
and ask the others to hold on to them.

We sang "Walking, Walking" by Super Simple Songs the entire time.

If they do wander, they usually don't go too far.
If you follow running after them though, they tend to run farther away because they will feel more confident with someone behind them.

I usually stop and wait for one child to turn and look back then start walking again.
I talk to the kids who remained with me and tell them what's happening. They're the ones who usually call back their other friends.
"(friends' names), taal! come!"
And when they turn to look back, I say, 
"We're going this way."
Then then join the group again.

We had a great time.
The kids ran freely (in all the different directions)
And, at the end of the trip, none of them got lost.

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