25 Sep Take Your Toddler on a Field Trip with These Fun and Cheap Ideas
Raising toddlers – there’s nothing quite so fun, exhausting and, honestly, isolating as parenting a little (or more) in this age group. When managing their energy, development and always-changing emotions, it always seems easiest just to do an activity at home. BUT momma (or nanny extraordinaire), you need some sanity too, and staying home, while it may be the cheapest and easiest option for you when you’re only 3 sips into your morning coffee that you poured 2 hours ago, it’s a sure-fire way to lose your mind. While getting out of the house is definitely tricky with littles, I try to leave the house every day for my own sanity. Some days this means just taking a walk or bike ride around the block. On other days, we venture somewhere more exciting. I’ve found that there are plenty of cheap, relatively easy places to take littles out to explore.
When you decide to make an outing a learning experience, you can turn anything into a Field Trip! But you can’t take a toddler just anywhere and expect them to be engaged without buying a ticket to a museum or just heading to the park… again… Turn your morning from inside craziness to outside exploration with some of our favorite Fun and Cheap Field Trips for Toddlers!
Shopping can be such a rich & fun experience for our kiddos! Simply walking the aisles and talking about what you see provides so many opportunities for vocabulary growth, making connections, and practicing conversational skills. Chances are, you need to pick something up at the store anyway, so make it into a fun field trip! I would suggest snagging whatever it is that you need from the store as soon as you get there, leaving you plenty of time to explore and make an easy exit.
Some stores we love are:
Hardware Store- This is honestly my 3-year-old son’s favorite! He absolutely adores looking at the lawn mowers, plants, appliances, and seeing the random lifts driving around. He locked down his colors by identifying the different color lawn mowers and weed whackers. One of my favorite memories of a trip to the hardware store was when he opened every fridge to check if there was food inside.
Target/Walmart- I know you’re probably going here anyways, but I like to draw the trip out and make it more of an adventure. In our family, the popular aisles are the vacuums (my kid has a thing for cleaning), the toys, and the books.
Hunting store- I know this might not be available everywhere, but I’m a Texas girl. This is a kid’s dream come true. We love to explore all of the animals and the fish tank, and then we usually head over to the camping section to test out the tents!
Pet store- It’s just like a mini zoo!
Get Out in Nature
Nature center- This might require more research, but many cities have free or very low cost nature or discovery centers. The one near us has fish tanks, puzzles, an awesome sand table, and a beautiful wetland boardwalk.
Hiking- Hiking can be difficult with a toddler, but it’s also super rewarding. Don’t plan anything too crazy, just find an easy trail nearby, and let your little lead the way.
Read Somewhere New
Library- Our library is a home away from home. Sometimes we go for story time or another scheduled event. On other days, we simply check out books, practice using the computer, and enjoy the fun space. This is also where I have met some of my mom besties.
Book Store- Head to your local book store and peruse the children’s section for a fun, new spot to read!
Getting out of the house is a great way to break up what can seem like a long day with toddlers. Be sure to set yourself up for success by packing the diaper bag full of all of the essentials and plenty of snacks. Though it might not seem like much, these little daily experiences are the memories that childhood is made of!