Have an in-house field trip in your preschool

In-house field trips are a great alternative for programs who are unable to take their children on out of school field trips.

I happened by the school the day animal safari came for a visit. Because the animal folks came into the school, they were prepared to show the children each animal and in most cases, the children were allowed to touch the animals.

One of the nice things about an in-house field trip is that your students will be given special attention and more time to be engaged in the activity or presentation.

There are lots of ideas for in-house field trips you can consider. Some may cost money and others can be free. You just have to see who or what is in your community and ask.

Ideas to consider include…

  • Paid visitors such as story tellers, crafters, magicians, musicians, or animal handlers.
  • Community visitors such as a policeman, fireman, chef, or dentist.
  • Local groups such as your local high school cheerleaders, band members, or basketball team might come in to put on a little demonstration or offer up a little 1/2 hour coaching session.
  • Parents also can make great visitors as they bring in items or food from home to share their culture or career.

Be sure that your visitor…

  • Gives you a plan of events or presentation before coming.
  • Knows how to gear the presentation towards very young children.
  • Defines the expected length of the visit or presentation.
  • Is aware of the number of children you have that will be attending the presentation or event.
  • The amount of space they will need for the presentation or event.
  • The exact cost (if you are paying them) that they will be charging. Some charge per child.

Field Trip Notes

When our school has an in-house field trip, a permission note is sent out just like any other field trip. This is so parents will be informed of the event and be able to give a heads up to teachers if there are any concerns for such things as allergies or fear of animals.


In many cases, the parents pay a small fee to help offset the cost of an in-house field trip as well. Many times, parents would rather pay for a visitor to come to the school rather than pay for the children to be taken outside of the school.


Plan far enough in advance in scheduling. Visitors can get booked up and you will want them to come as an extention of your learning objectives. For example, if you are having a special emphasis on sports, this would be a good time to bring in a basket ball player!

By |2010-09-04T11:30:30+00:00September 4th, 2010|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Jennifer Barnett September 4, 2010 at 11:55 am - Reply

    I work at Head Start and one way we can get our volunteer time up is we ask community reps to come into our classroom once a month. We have had people from someone from the dentist office to the fire department. We actually had Wal Mart Bakers come one time and the kids got to decorate their own cupcakes after the ladies showed them how they decorate cakes at the store. The kids love it when we have ‘special company’ coming to school.
    I highly recommend having people come in from the community to speak to the class.
    Jennifer Barnett

  2. Nanette Sposito September 4, 2010 at 11:55 am - Reply

    We have an annual zoo day, the Oakland ZooMobile comes with lil’critters for the kids to get up close to (Oakland, CA). We also have a mobile stuff a bear company come in and the kids make their own stuffed animal. It is great fun! We have an animal theme and make headbands to wear the day of the event and make the same stuffed animal. I charge the families a portion of the fees; usually covers one of the visitors and I pay for the other.

  3. Lynette September 4, 2010 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Having parents come in as visitors is always such fun for the children in class. From cooperative helpers, to sharing their talents, it is always nice to have them with us. Also, at two schools I have been fortunate to have been part of, we had a dance school come in and present a preschool-level version of The Nutcracker. The children are mesmerized each time.

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