Preschool field trips — The Bump
Pre-School

Preschool field trips

My 4 yr old DD goes to Montessori, in the summer they have camp that she attends 3 times a week to socialize with friends and keep her busy. It is a great school but now that she is 4 they take the kids on field trips to the zoo, museum, chocolate factory, which all sound great but I am not sure I am ready for her to start that. I like knowing she is at the school safe on the playground or inside. There are no parent chaperones allowed just faculty and kids. Am I being too paranoid about this and should just be letting her go? I wouldn't want her to be the only kid that has to stay behind with the younger kids but I am nervous about the entire situation. 
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Re: Preschool field trips

  • My DS went on his first field trip last summer, he was a young four.  I was nervous about it too but I trusted his specific teacher and they weren't going far.  He LOVED it.

  • Don't be nervous.  The school and the teachers know exactly how to handle little ones in public.  Most preschools take their classes to the same places every year, and the teachers know exactly what to do and where to go to keep their classes engaged and safe.  Student safety is the #1 priority of most schools.  If they weren't 100% confident they could keep kids safe at a location, they wouldn't go.

    I would actually be much more comfortable with my child going on a field trip attended only by teachers than if parents were expected to chaperon groups of kids.  Teachers are far more structured.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
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  • I agree teacher field trips are better then parent chaperones.  WHere I work we don't start field trips until 6 before that we bring in guest for the children.

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  • I work at a DC and we are extra careful with the children on field trips.  We count, count and count somemore.  We take enough staff to carefully watch over the children.  We go to place that we know are safe and we can watch them closely.  We check bathrooms before letting any child go in alone, including the men's bathroom (walked in on a guy one time Embarrassed).  Sometimes the field trips are fun, but stessful and we only let the staff that are up on their toes attend and help out.  I would discuss with the director of the program what their rules and policies are for the program, ask some questions and if you are still not comfortable then maybe find a different program or see if you LO can stay back at the center.  HTH

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  • I would want to know the ratio.  I, personally, am not comfortable with my preschoolers being anywhere that prohibits parents from attending.

    That said, when I was a teacher, my students were much easier to keep together and transition to the activity and back to the bus when parents weren't around for field trips. 

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  • I would/do feel the same way.

    My son went on a preschool field trip in the fall (age 4+) and I was a nervous wreck. I attended with him, but he went on the bus himself. I don't think that I would allow him to go without me.

    Can she stay with you on those days? Or can you join her, or another family member?

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  • DS went on a couple trips when he was in the 3 year class that were local(holiday train show, fire house, library).   No parent chaperones.   They had a trip to the pumpkin farm and I was one of the chaperones.   They asked me since he had a febrile seizure a couple weeks before the trip and both his teacher and I were nervous about him.    This year, they have had 2 trips so far.  1 local and on to the farm.   He went on both and there were not any parent chaperones.

      

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  • imageLoveEeyore:

    I would want to know the ratio.  I, personally, am not comfortable with my preschoolers being anywhere that prohibits parents from attending.

    This. DD's preschool encouraged parent chaperones, although part of that was because they needed us to help drive. But it was also nice knowing there were enough adults watching the little ones at busy places like the zoo.

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  • My 16 month old is going on a field trip next week which makes me nervous. My son was not that young when his trips started. Mt son is 3  1/2 and goes on trips every other month or so. 
  • imageneverblushed:

    Don't be nervous.  The school and the teachers know exactly how to handle little ones in public.  Most preschools take their classes to the same places every year, and the teachers know exactly what to do and where to go to keep their classes engaged and safe.  Student safety is the #1 priority of most schools.  If they weren't 100% confident they could keep kids safe at a location, they wouldn't go.

    I would actually be much more comfortable with my child going on a field trip attended only by teachers than if parents were expected to chaperon groups of kids.  Teachers are far more structured.

    I agree.  although I was still incredibly nervous about the girls 1st field trip last summer and almost didn't let them go...I am so glad I did...they were obviously fine and had a great time...they still talk about it.

  • Both of my kids started going on field trips at 4.  DS just went on his first field trip to the planetarium earlier this week.  We do have parent chaperones on the field trips - one for every 2 children.  I would trust your child's teachers that they have done this many times before and know what they're doing. 
    Ms. A  - 2007, Mr. C - 2009
  • My son went on a 4 year old summer camp field trip last summer and I followed the school van and helped chaperone at the location. I don't do this for all trips, but I do for many of them.

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  • When DD was in the toddler room at daycare they would go to the library and zoo. she was 18-26 months. They actually put the car seat in the bus (RF even) and the kids loved it. They loved the bus most of all. I know one mom didn't feel comfortable with it and would keep her kiddo home. Had she not been abke to do that she probably would've been put in the other toddler room for the day.
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  • Field trips for my girls started the summer before Kindy so at age 5 (6 for my older DD).  I was nervous at first but they do a wonderful job.  They have enough staff on hand that they are always in ratio and often have more staff than are required.  The kids all wear the school t-shirt for any field trips so they really stand out.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Do they ride on a bus? I'd be nervous too. It also strikes me as odd that kids are in carseats/boosters, by law so much longer nowadays, yet a 4-year-old could ride a bus with no seatbelt for a field trip.

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  • DD started going on fieldtrips around 2.5 years old, and I usually go with her. But they've gone just teachers/kids many times, it isn't a big deal.
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  • DD's preschool does field trips. Like others have said they use a lot of caution with the kids (constant head counts, matching shirts, nametags with emergency info, etc). I have gone as a parent helper on all of the trips, but I can see why they don't allow parents at some schools. Some of the parents are more work to take care of than the kids (mom shopping at the mall while suppose to be helping with the line at santa, etc). I would let her go alone if you are comfortable with the staff and teachers. This isn't their first rodeo they know what they are doing :)
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  • DS goes on monthly field trips to the local nature conservancy with just the teachers.  I was okay with that since they would be the only ones there and the staff there would be on hand to help.  Their annual trip to the Art Museum was a couple of weeks ago and parents that car pooled the kids were asked to also stay as chaperones.
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