It is time to start planning... I always enjoy "field trips" with my grandchildren. There are many reasons we go on outings with our families. One is to spend quality time together strengthening relationships and building memories, but there are many other reasons. Do you realize that the wonderful outings you go on are building background knowledge for children? The more children know about their world, the easier it is for them to read and make connections to what they are learning in school. Interesting experiences give kids a broad framework for new information they might encounter in books and in school. You can help your child build background knowledge through fun family activities.
Step 1: Go on Family Field Trips
Go to the park, historical landmarks, the State Capitol Building, a sporting event, a community theater or arts event, a museum and/or children's museum, the library, the aquarium, or the zoo. Go on a hike, visit a natural attraction like the Great Salt Lake or Antelope Island, or go on a picnic up the canyon. Use the Internet to take a virtual field trip to a faraway place.
Step 2: Talk, Talk, Talk
Talk about your outing, the plants and animals you see, the rules of a game, the history of a landmark, and the new things your family has experienced. Get your child talking about their experience by asking questions. For example you might ask, "What was your favorite thing about...?" or "Why do you think...?" One question can lead to another and then another. Take new interests to a deeper level by extending their experience through additional reading and research.
Have fun spending time together. Support your children by having a wide variety of learning experiences while strengthening relationships and building memories through exciting family outings. The weather is nice... start planning a "family field trip."