Have you planned your school outing yet? Acrobranch offers school outings and team building activities so they asked us as parents at Things to do With Kids Magazine to shed some light on what we look for when planning a yearend school outing.
I remember my first school outing experience, many years ago. I was five years old and the school planned a steam train day outing. We have been talking about it for weeks and our teacher a.k.a our “trip advisor” prepared us with educational activities during story time and arts and crafts.
I woke up one Monday feeling really sick. Being one of those kids who loved school and always got the 100% school attendance award, my mom knew it was serious. I couldn’t get up and so I stayed in bed. After picking up my siblings from school that afternoon my mom mentioned: “it’s such a shame you missed out on the steam train trip…” I was devastated! As I had very little sense of dates and time at this young age I didn’t realise it was D-day! I missed out on my first ever school outing! Why didn’t she mention this earlier? Like before school?
My best friend didn’t quite get my devastation. She went on steam trips every holiday when visiting her grandmother in PE. We stayed in a “Spoorweg-dorp”- the majority of De Aar’s inhabitants used trains as long-distance transport… but my family didn’t.
This memory made me realise what special occasions school outings can be for children. I missed out on time to bond with friends, an opportunity to learn through experience and an opportunity to share unique experiences as a peer-community. As a determined little girl, I made sure I never missed another field trip again and I still cherish these school outings today.
When planning a school activity today, I would suggest one takes the following into account:
Pick a FUN activity with a purpose
If your school outing does not involve fun experiences, it is probably missing the mark. You can find inspiration by having a group discussion. Ask fellow teachers, but also ask the kids their top five suggestions for a day out. Have a purpose in mind. Learning and teaching can happen anywhere. Acrobranch is a great place to teach kids about momentum, speed and acceleration as they zip through the trees, levers and physics, life orientation, anatomy, physical exercise and health in a fun environment. If you homeschool, ask other homeschool parents to brainstorm some ideas together.
Create an opportunity to invest in learners
As biokineticists, we find gross motor skills and core stability are on the decline due to inactive modern lifestyles. A day at school further involves a lot of sitting, writing or fine motor activities like colouring, depending on the children’s age of course. Teachers can choose gross motor activities to counter this and expose kids to the benefits and joy of moving. Sometimes all we need to pursue better choices in life is a mentor who is passionate about it.
Choose an activity that challenges kids within their means
As I mentioned, a school outing is a perfect opportunity to invest in children outside of the classroom. Teachers can get to know their class in a more relaxed atmosphere and see new skills surface that both the kids and teachers may not have known existed. Children may be able to show their leadership skills in a group activity or overcome their fears and build confidence through meaningful challenges and with support from their team.
Choose an outing that will encourage teambuilding and creativity
Relationships are strengthened through shared experiences. Allow the kids to be creative, share ideas and make plans together. It is also the perfect opportunity for kids to see teachers in a different light.
Consider spending some time in nature or with nature
Living in cities often means our children don’t get to interact with animals, climb trees or smell, touch and feel nature. Nurture a love for nature by picking an activity involving nature.
Extra considerations for taking groups out:
Put Safety first
Be sure your school has a proper orientation session. Have protocols in place on What to do if you get lost; what to do if you wish to go to the toilets etc. Acrobranch does activity-specific training on safety for each group before they start on the obstacle course and they move around ensuring children implement the safety protocols. Be sure that the venue you pick is not an obvious unsafe space and ensure the staff is trained in first aid, and health and safety.
Get extra childminders
If you can find a venue that may have more child-minders available to assist teachers with large groups, it is a bonus! Acrobranch has well-trained staff that will help children to move safely from one obstacle to the next.
Choose a venue that offers group discounts
Don’t be shy to ask for a group discount. Most venues will be willing to work out a package for groups to make it more affordable. This may mean many kids who would under other circumstances not be able to afford it can afford the outing under the group discount and with the help of fundraisers.
These are just a few pointers on choosing a fun, active school outing. I recently read this full article on how to plan a school trip- you are welcome to read more here.
Pointers for parents
- Know where your child is going
- Know how they will get there (transport details)
- Have the contact details of the venue and people in charge of the group
- Reinforce general safety protocols at home
- Make sure the school knows your stance on taking photos of your children, especially if they are in uniforms
What other fun outings did you recently pursue? Tell us in comments!
Find an outdoor play park + party venue near you
Acrobranch offers eight world-class child-friendly ziplining adventure parks. They can be found here: (1) Constantia Nek adventures in Cape Town, (2) Sunlaws Estate adventure park in Centurion, (3) Rosemary Hill Adventure park in Pretoria East, (4) Melrose Park (and picnic spot) in Johannesburg, (5) Honingnestkrans Street family adventure park in Pretoria North, (6) Timberlake Organic Village for adventures on the Garden Route, (7) Huddle Park Linksfield adventure park near Bedfordview and Rosebank and their latest addition to the family- (8) Stellenbosch family adventure park at Klein Joostenberg Farm.
For more information please visit: Acrobranch Adventure Parks