Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pumpkin Patch Trip Tips

Ahh, the yearly Pumpkin Patch trip.  Some teachers love it, some don't...but almost every student adores it!  What isn't there to love?  A bus ride, maybe a hay ride, tromping through the mud, choosing a pumpkin, carrying it around, and bringing those rolling fruits back on the bus.  :)

If you are planning on going on a Pumpkin Patch trip this Fall, here are a few tips for you.

1) Always assume it will rain.  Wear suitable clothing and footwear.  Even if it's not raining on the actual day of the field trip, those pumpkin patches can be muddy!  
(Photo from Dollar Photo/ Adobe Stock)

2)  Prepare your students for the pumpkin patch by learning about the parts of a pumpkin, the pumpkin life cycle, etc.  If your pumpkin patch trip has a learning component put on by the farm, your students will have a lot more fun if they know some of the answers to the common questions!  Also, as this is often the first field trip of the year, discuss some of the emotions your students might be feeling about their upcoming trip.  
3) Ask each child bring along a plastic bag.  And then, assume that none of them will bring one along, so bring along a class set to school just in case!  Before leaving on the trip, write each child's name on their plastic bag in WATERPROOF sharpie (in more then one place if possible).  After choosing their pumpkin, the child will then put the pumpkin in the bag to make transport easier.  Also, those pumpkins can all start to look the same after a while, so this will prevent any confusion.
4) Bring along enough helpers.  Once those kids are let loose in a pumpkin patch it can be hard to reign them back in.  Assigning parent volunteers to groups of 2-6 students can make SUCH a huge difference.  

5) If possible, check ahead of time if your students are going to be allowed to choose ANY size of pumpkin or not.  On my first trip, the students were allowed to choose ANY size of pumpkin.  It was a gong show, because even if they can carry it for the first few minutes, soon they can't.  By then, they've gotten attached to their pumpkin and want someone to carry it.  You don't want to be in that situation.  Ask if they have "field trip" sized pumpkins.  Some pumpkin patches will even bring the students to a field that has only the smaller ones.  That is the best!
6) Take time to reflect on your field trip afterward.  Write about their memories and utilize some of their new vocabulary!  
7) And the most important of all...make sure to bring along a warm drink.  It's amazing how a warm tea, hot chocolate, apple cider, or coffee can make all of the difference :)

If you want to use the Pumpkin Patch Field Trip printables found in this post, you can see them here. 

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