Let your preschooler know how she should act on the field trip.

Day Field Trip Checklist for Parents

by Shelley Frost

Sending your sweetheart off to preschool was tough. Now she's going on her first field trip. What's a mom to do? First, grab a tissue and blow your nose. Your baby's growing up whether you're ready or not. Next, sit down with a checklist for yourself in anticipation of the field trip. It won't slow down your child's growing process, but it will make your precious cargo just a little safer as she climbs aboard the bus for the big excursion with her preschool class.

1. Trip Details

The teacher should have all the details under control, but you don't want to leave it all on her shoulders. Find out where they're going. Commit the date and time to memory so you don't forget about the big day. If the trip includes multiple stops, ask for an itinerary so you know where your kiddo will be all day. Having the teacher's cell phone number and the numbers of the places they'll stop is also a good idea. If a problem arises, you'll know how to get in touch.

2. Pre-Trip Tasks

The all-powerful permission slip -- without it your preschooler can't take the field trip. It shouldn't take much to complete. It usually involves a signature and maybe a check mark or two. And for goodness sake, turn it in on time! You may not realize it, but a lot of organization and coordination goes into field trip prep for the teacher. You may not understand why she wants the permission slips a week before the trip, but to her it's a necessity so all of the kids have the thumbs up to go.

3. Packing List

Packing for a field trip isn't as difficult as packing for a week-long vacation, but you may need to send a few extra things to preschool that day. This is where attention to detail is key. Read through that permission slip or other information sent home. Does your preschooler need to take her own lunch? Will she need money to get in? Can she take extra money for a souvenir? You'll never hear the end of it if all of her classmates got a trinket from the gift shop and she came home empty handed. If the field trip destination is outdoors, then sunscreen, bug spray and sunglasses may be on the list. Your child's teacher will thank you for sending all of the requested items and dressing your little one according to the weather and destination. In other words, don't put her in her Sunday best and fancy shoes for a trip to a muddy farm.

4. Behavior Expections

Have you ever chaperoned a preschool field trip? The excitement is palpable and deafening -- especially when confined inside a bus. But that excitement can turn dangerous if your preschooler jumps around on the bus, screams too loudly or wanders off once she arrives at the destination. Sit her down for the field trip lecture the day before the trip. Remind her about bus safety and staying with the class. Since preschoolers have a short attention span, you'll want to review the behavior expectations the morning of the trip. Give her a quick pop quiz on the way to school to make sure she's ready for the big trip.

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