As spring approaches so does the season for FIELD TRIPS. If you are the type who volunteers for these excursions, or if you, like me, have a husband who volunteers you for them, there are some things you need to prepare yourself for the day. Here is a handy little FIELD TRIP SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR EAGER PARENTS
1. Bring hand sanitizer. Two of them, preferably the kind you can spritz on someone's hands or face without touching them. One should be used when ever another child is going to touch your child, the other is for your child after the aforementioned other child has touched them. And always for yourself, before and after touching anything.
2. Wear cheap gloves that you don't mind tossing at the end of the trip. Inevitably some kid will be picking their nose, digging away in there like Yosemite Sam, and then want to hold your hand.
3. Bring a snack for yourself. It doesn't matter that the kids will be having a decidedly boring snack of pretzels or cheese crackers, it will make you ravenous. Bring something yummy that you can duck into the bathroom to eat, out of sight of anyone who might want you to share.
4. Bring a camera. Even if you never develop the photos, other parents will have theirs and you will seem uncaring if you don't have one. A photo album from your child's class is a nice end of year gift for them.
5. Buddy up to the teacher. Befriending the teacher is a good idea for obvious reasons, but is not without pitfalls as you will be the first person they turn to when a class project needs organizing. See this post about my quilting debacle.
6. Keep track of the kids. This may seem obvious, but my first field trip, to a farmer's market, included a harrowing moment where I really believed I was going to have to tell another parent that I lost their kid. In fairness, the kid in question DID get lost on another trip, so I am inclined to think it was his fault.
7. Dress comfortably. This is my number one rule regarding all unpleasant situations. Comfy socks go a long way to soothing frazzled nerves.
8. Do not yell at other people's children. Mocking them is a far better technique, especially for whiners.
9. Don't miss the opportunity to get nosy about what the other parents do. Ask questions. Most kids love to give you the dirt on what goes on at home.
10. If the trip involves a bus ride, sit near the front and make sure to ask any nearby children if they get car sick. If so, find another seat.
There you have it. Have fun on your field trips and try not to lose anyone.