While this article is specific to preschool field trips in Calgary, it may give you ideas of free field trips you could find in your area.
Not a preschool teacher, but want to take your child on a field trip? Consider going together with a handful of other moms with preschool-aged children.
Free Preschool Field Trips
1. Pisces Pet Emporium
- This pet store is among my favourite field trips for preschoolers as they offer guided tours for free.
- Think of Pisces as a preschooler-sized zoo! They even have little monkeys!
- Tip: Even though you booked it a while ago, call Pieces a day or two before your field trip to remind them.
- get to see various animals including small monkeys, fish, cats, dogs, bunnies, birds, etc.
- It’s harder to lose kids because the store is not crowded and only has one exit.
- The tour guide may allow the children to feed the fish and will likely pull out a couple of animals for the children to see up close or even to pet.
- Typically only about an hour long – a good length for many preschoolers.
- Only one class can go at a time.
- The aisles can get crowded, especially if you have lots of adults along. Consider limiting the number of volunteers you take.
2. Fire Station
- See the fire trucks up close and personal. Maybe even get to climb inside one.
- Children love firefighters! Getting to be inside the fire station is thrilling for them.
- Encourages a positive attitude toward community helpers.
- The firefighters giving the tour are on-call. Therefore, if a call comes in, off they go. This means your tour may be cut short.
- It’s my understanding that a lot of Calgary kindergartens visit the fire station as their field trip.
- The minimum age for fire station tours in Calgary is 4 years old.
3. Fish Creek Provincial Park / Inglewood Bird Sanctuary / Prairie Winds Park
- There are many lovely parks in Calgary. Some, like the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, are wildlife areas, while others, like Prairie Winds, are more cultivated including playgrounds.
- Outside – Many children these days don’t spend enough time outside. A field trip to the park gets them out of doors and in the sunshine.
- You are in charge of this field trip, not dependent on a tour guide who may or may not be good with preschoolers.
- Weather dependent – being outside means you have to adjust your plan based on the weather.
- You have to plan it. Because there is no tour guide, it is up to you to plan activities, games, etc. that will engage your children.
- The Calgary Public Library system has been adding play areas to several of their libraries.
- Also, some of their branches can be booked for storytime where a librarian will read books and sing songs with your class for 30 minutes. (I do not know whether this is a paid or free event.)
- Encourages early literacy and interest in reading.
- Some librarians are excellent at storytime, or you could find a corner and read stories to your own class in which case you have control of the quality of storytime.
- Need to keep the children relatively quiet and have to watch them closely as there are many aisles to hide in.
- Some librarians are used to doing storytime for elementary children and may not adjust well to the preschool age.
Regardless of whether you live in Calgary or not, I hope this article has given you some great free preschool field trip ideas to enjoy with your children.
What are your favourite free preschool field trips?