Our first method was having the children narrate what they experienced while Daddy type it up on the computer. I would then add it to their monthly file folder. My husband would pretty much type it up exactly as the children told it to him. Here is an example:
Entry from Princess journal April 21, 2010
Today we went to a place where we could see a man who was frozen in ice. The town was in Italy and was named Bolzano. The scientists nicknamed the body “Otzi”. The story of how the iceman was found was that people were walking near a glacier and found him sticking out of the ice. He was so deep in the ice that at first nobody could get him out, but they eventually got him out. They didn’t know that he was a person who had been frozen in the ice five thousand years ago. They thought he was a man who died recently in the glacier. They brought him to a morgue, where dead people are brought, and somebody noticed that this wasn’t just a normal person who had died. They had to get him back into a freezer quickly so the scientists could study him and the body wouldn’t decay. They found lots of other things near the iceman, too, like a bearskin cap, clothes, fur, an axe and a bow and arrows. We saw the body of the iceman; it was very gross. Eventually scientists figured out that the iceman died because he was murdered; he got into a fight and was injured in the hand. He tried to escape but eventually somebody shot an arrow into his shoulder.Journal entry from Little Man April 20. 2010:
Today we went to Neuschwanstein Castle. We saw a cave room in part of the castle. The king really liked it with colors. The lights had lots of colors. There were a lot of pictures, and we took the English language tour. The Germans took the German language tour. There were a lot of stairs in the castle. We took a bus up to Neuschwanstein Castle; we got to a lot of castles. I liked the bus, and it was made by a company named Man. After the castle, we drove to the hotel and we snowbanks on top of the mountains. You can go skiing on those snowbanks.
Another way I tried was having the children create their own mini books of the trips. I took as many pictures of the activity as I could and print them out. The children would use the pictures to write a caption of the activity in the picture and make a book. Here is an example:
Princess book on making a pizza at a restaurant 2009
Little Man's mini book on making pizza at a Pizza restaurant 2009
As the children have gotten older I purchased journals and have the children draw a picture and write about what they saw or did for the activity. Here is an example of a journal entry:
Princess Journal entry
Little Man's journal entry
Lastly, we take advantage of the learning programs offered by the museum, castles or national trust sites. Many have simple children's pages to fill out, looking for certain exhibits, or going on a scavenger hunt. We will often get the children's audio guide while looking around a place because they are usually filled with fun interesting stories to keep the kids entertained.
Scavenger hunt at Ely Stain Glass museum
Nature trail, answering clues to find the next hidden object
So I used many methods of trying to get me kids to remember what they have seen and learned on a field trip! I would love to know what methods your family uses so drop me a line if you can.
If you love taking field trips with your children why not check out The Field Trip Hop. Today, September 1st opens up a new month of linking up all your wonderful adventures. Share where you are going and how you document your field trips.