It might sound cliché, but it is true: education doesn’t only take place in the classroom. The world outside of those four walls is rife with opportunities to expand one’s mind, increase their knowledge, and provide applicable examples for what they’ve learned. There’s nothing quite like a hands-on approach to learning, which can take place anywhere, any time.
Every excursion into the world can prove itself an educational adventure for a child. In this article, we’ll show you 13 great examples of such outings. And there is no classroom involved!
13 Out-of-Classroom Opportunities for Learning
Of course, the extent of this list is nowhere near complete. You may have ideas of your own to add to this list – which you definitely should! For now, you can use this list as something of a starting point when planning your own activities.
Visit a Historical Site
This is one example that you can use to weave the experience into your child’s current history curriculum, to keep things relevant. If the site is in your own town (or even just nearby), your child will also get a healthy dose of local history schooling. In your search for local historical sites, you may even learn a thing or two!
Check out a History Museum
Museums are a terrific way to enjoy the day and learn some cool, new information. History is a critical subject that students should immerse themselves in and soak up every opportunity to learn more. The history of the world, the country, or even just your city is likely more interesting than even you know! This gives everyone – you and your children – an exciting chance to increase their wealth of historical knowledge.
Tour the State Capital
Learning about how the government works at all levels – including state level – is an incredible learning opportunity for young and old students of life. Most of these government agencies will allow for guided tours on certain days, which gives everyone a more comprehensive glimpse into their state’s government’s workings.
Take a Trip to the Science Museum
Science museums are great places to take children! Many offer child-inclusive and even hands-on activities. Engaging with the displays as a part of learning is especially fascinating to children, even the big kids. Not only do they get to learn a bit more about how the world works, but they get to see some of it in action!
Learn About Farming
Farms are the lifeblood of any country. They make it possible to have food on our plates. Your child could definitely learn a lot by paying a visit to a local farm. They’ll enjoy learning more about the process that goes into the food we consume daily. Many bigger farms will even have designated dates and times for guided touring!
Stargaze at the Planetarium
Not everything that should be learned sits right here on Earth. Turn your sights to the stars at a local planetarium, where you will learn all about planets, stars, constellations, and other formations throughout the galaxy.
Go to the Zoo
Zoos are an incredibly popular family attraction for a multitude of reasons. You get to see animals that you’d likely never have the chance to witness elsewhere. You get to learn about creatures domestic and exotic. Visitors can take a trip through all continents in a single day. For these reasons and more, the nearest zoo should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
Visit the Aquarium
If you’ve got an aquarium – or even better yet, a place like SeaWorld – near you, it is simply essential that you pay it a visit! Many aquariums will offer discounted admissions on certain days, making this family adventure ultra-affordable (as well as educational). A trip to see underwater life is a relaxing way to learn something new and fun.
See a Play
Go to a local theater to enrich your students’ lives with something deeply cultural and entertaining. This doesn’t mean that you have to view a Broadway-worthy production, either. Most theaters are staffed by incredible amateur performers. This makes the tickets more affordable and the venue less crowded. Local theaters are the way to go, a lot of the time.
Picnic in a Garden
Going to the garden is a free (or cheap, depending on the location) way to immerse yourself in nature and learn while relaxing the body and mind. Being surrounded by nature helps to make humans happier. And a happy person is always going to be more susceptible to engaging in their experiences fully. Use this time to have a picnic lunch, identify some flora and/or fauna, and bond as a family.
Go on a Hike
Physical education is a part of overall education, so it’s important to remember to visit places that nurture the body as well as the mind. Hiking along a nature trail is a great way to do this. You can choose hiking spots that are suited to everyone’s fitness level and endurance. And there’s so much to see along the way! Work together to identify birds and different types of plant life while you perform some cardio.
Learn to Garden
A local green house or public garden is a great place to learn more about gardening. Your child may already know the basics: plant the seed, nurture with water and sunlight. But here, they can learn how to most efficiently and healthily grow their own herbs, flowers and produce. They’ll learn more about the properties of everything they grow, including the soil these things sprout from.
Shop for Groceries
It’s a good idea to give children a chance to learn about budgeting early on, as this is a valuable skill that will serve them well throughout their lives. Go into the supermarket with a budget in mind and a list. Proceed to walk the student through the process of shopping for groceries, including the ending transaction with the cashier.