What are the Benefits of Field Trips for Children?

A group of students listen to an educator at a nature center.

Field trips give students educational experiences away from their regular school environment. Popular field trip sites include zoos, nature centers, community agencies such as fire stations and hospitals, government agencies, local businesses and science museums. Not only do field trips provide alternative educational opportunities for children, they can also benefit the community if they include some type of community service.

Hands-On Learning

A boy touches a duck at a petting zoo.

Students visiting different educational facilities learn in a more hands-on and interactive manner than they do in school. Science museums, for example, often have displays that children can touch to help them understand the material that is being covered. Zoos, nature centers and botanical gardens show kids animal and plant life up close, and often have areas where kids can touch displays, such as petting zoos and interactive computer programs.

Varieties of Field Trips

A teacher gives a geography lesson to a group of students sitting on the floor in a classroom.

Field trips give children a welcome break in routine. Kids can look forward to and prepare for the field trip for several days or weeks. Then, they get to spend the day in a different learning environment and can complete a lesson on the topic covered after the trip is over. Learning in assorted ways can appeal to varied learning styles, helping children to succeed whether they are visual, auditory or kinetic learners.

New Experiences

Children travel on a ferry to the city.

Children learn about different professions, ideas and opportunities when they travel outside their own neighborhoods. A field trip can awaken the desire in a child to try new things and pursue previously unconsidered dreams. Field trips can introduce children to job opportunities and can spark new interests and passions.

Service to Others

A group of children collect recycables in a park.

During service-oriented field trips, kids learn about helping others in the community. The community also benefits both from the work that the kids do as part of the trip, and from any further volunteering that the children do as a result of the trip.

Better Grades and Understanding

A boy takes notes in a science museum.

Field trips can result in greater achievement in all subjects. By seeing real-life application of the lessons that they are learning in school, children might be more likely to understand and appreciate the importance and relevance of what they are learning.