Who doesn’t have fond memories of their first grade field trip? I know I do. Mrs. Lew took us to see James and The Giant Peach at the local children’s theater … and it was magical. There’s something about the first grade field trip that’s so special. We’ve rounded up our favorite first grade field trips that students will remember forever.
Not all of these trips will be possible everywhere, but keep in mind local treasures that are unique to your area. And when you can’t manage a trip—for whatever reason—try our virtual first grade field trips below.
In-Person First Grade Field Trips
1. The Children’s Theater
First grade is an ideal time to introduce kids to the live theater experience. Children’s theaters generally have offerings based on age-appropriateness. Many plays are based on classic children’s literature, so you can read the book aloud first.
2. The Zoo
Going to the zoo provides students with the chance to observe animal behaviors and learn about wildlife conservation. Most of them, like the San Diego Zoo, have educational programs, including keeper talks and up-close animal encounters.
3. A Factory
First graders are starting to be curious about how things are made, so a trip to a factory is likely to be of high interest to them. Cars, chocolates, textiles … the possibilities are endless!
4. A Children’s Museum
At a children’s museum, the rule is: Please touch! For first graders, look for role play areas, imagination studios, and—always a firstie favorite—dinosaurs!
5. The Police Station
Grades K–2 are big on learning about community helpers, so the police station is a great choice (especially if they went to the fire station in kinder). First graders can learn more about personal safety and the work of police officers.
6. A Veterinary Clinic
Vets are always a favorite Career Day visitor, so why not go see them in action? First graders are all about their pets, and they can learn a lot about caring for them, as well as veterinary medicine, on a tour of a veterinary hospital.
7. The Aquarium
If you’re not lucky enough to have a zoo close by, an aquarium is another good choice. Students will get a window into life under the sea, and lots of aquariums have touch pools for the ultimate in hands-on learning.
8. A Planetarium
Kids love to look at the moon and stars. A visit to a planetarium is the perfect introduction to the solar system. First graders will get a kick out of the shows and many are geared toward young children.
9. A Fish Hatchery
Life cycles are a hot topic for first graders, and a trip to the fish hatchery is a great way to round out that unit of study. Plus, the kids will enjoy the underwater viewing windows and the opportunity to feed the young fish that are features of most hatcheries.
10. The Farmer’s Market
For kids who went to a farm, apple orchard, or pumpkin patch in kindergarten, the farmer’s market is a nice follow-up. Your first graders can see firsthand what happens to the fruits and vegetables that were harvested … and one of the ways they get into the hands of consumers!
Virtual First Grade Field Trips
1. A Dairy Farm
On this virtual field trip from Dairy Council of California, kids learn all about dairy farming. Register for one of their online events here.
2. An Egg Farm
We love these virtual egg farm field trips from the American Egg Board. Make sure you catch the elementary-friendly versions of Hertzfeld Poultry and Creighton Brothers Farms.
3. The Zoo
Most zoos have live webcams in some of their most popular exhibits, such as the Panda Cam at Zoo Atlanta. However, some zoos offer a more in-depth look. You’ll definitely want to check out the San Diego Zoo.
4. The Aquarium
It’s a similar story with aquariums. You have your pick of live webcams, but our favorites are the Georgia Aquarium’s Ocean Voyager webcam (wait for the whale shark!) and the “jellycam” at Monterey Bay Aquarium (so soothing). And definitely check out The Maritime Aquarium where you can register for their virtual programs (try Shark Safari!).
“Walk” through all three floors of the Boston Children’s Museum on this virtual tour. Be sure to direct your students to the Explore-a-Saurus exhibit.
6. A Planetarium
Through Stellarium Web, kids can explore over 60,000 stars, locate planets, and watch sunrises and solar eclipses. If you enter your location, you can see all the constellations that are visible in the night sky in your corner of the world.
What are your favorite first grade field trips? Come and share in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.