We have recently embarked upon the biggest adventure of our Pebbles lifetime (and careers!) to date!
We aren’t advocates of celebrating the children leaving to go to school via ‘Graduation Ceremonies’ or end of preschool performances, instead we try and incorporate all of the interests of all of the children into an outing, and this year was our biggest to date!
We took the children to London!
For many of our children, they have all had a common interest in dinosaurs and transport, and so we decided to encompass the two together and take the children on a day trip to London via train!
It’s important to note at this stage, that this decision wasn’t taking lightly and was something we planned and thought about meticulously before going ahead with. Similarly, after conversations with the parents of children that attend on the day we planned to go, some parents highlighted that they would prefer their children not to attend (for varying individual reasons) and that too is okay. When you have such strong and honest partnerships with your parents and families like we have, then these occurrences aren’t an issue or awkward. We respect our parents decisions and their happiness is paramount and so we respected their wishes to do what’s best for their child.
We decided to keep the trip a surprise for the children until we reached the train station, and after buying our tickets, collecting our train maps ‘because we might need them’ we drew the children’s attention to the train timetable board and encouraged them to phonetically sound out and guess our destination.
When it was revealed that we were going to “the real London” the children were ecstatic and incredibly excited.
We then had a safety talk with the children about train stations, busy places and what to do if they got lost (we had attached luggage labels with our contact details to the children’s clothing in preparation) and the children were wearing their ‘Pebbles Childcare’ sunhats as an additional precaution.
When planning an outing of this scale there are obviously a number of variables that we cannot control nor plan for or prevent. Our variable was an incredibly overcrowded train with standing room only.
But in these situations the only thing you can do is factor these occurrences into your adventure and so we ensured there was enough floor space for the children to sit and played “I spy” and “Guess The Pebble” games until an incredibly kind man gave up two seats in 1st Class for the children to use.
Once seated, the children kept themselves occupied by playing Dinosaur Top Trumps, drawing in their writing books and taking in the views after a quick snack!
The hustle and bustle of Victoria Station and the general noise and busyness of London would be quite overwhelming for some children but we were exceptionally lucky that our children took it all in their stride; documenting their day on their camera, chatting to train guards, jumping on and off the tube and of course, reading the Metro like any good commuter!
The children were ecstatic once it dawned on them that we were going into ‘Andy’s Museum’ (Cbeebies ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures’) and we wasted no time in exploring the Natural History Museum.
Once again, this is where being a home-based childcare provider comes into it’s own, if a larger setting were to plan an outing of this scale, there would be itenaries, group rotations, set lunch times and a list of ‘Must See/Do’ experiences, but we were were able to follow the children’s lead and interests as they marvelled in all the museum had to offer.
One of the children noticed the ‘Moon’ exhibition as we exited the dinosaur section of the museum and so we headed into the new exhibition and spent some time just laying on the floor marvelling at the moon, no time restraints or itenaries, just pure curiosity, awe and wonder.
The highlight of our incredible outing had to be finding ‘Andy’s Clock’ from the hit TV show and our special chicken nuggets and chips dinner on the train journey home!
This outing has ignited so much excitement, not just in the children, but in us too and now we have successfully completed an outing of this scale with the children, the possibilities are truly endless.
If we can take anything from this incredible day, it is that the risks, worries and concerns are totally outweighed by the sheer excitement, joy and curiosity that these real-life experiences offer the children and we cannot wait for another adventure with our team of Pebbles explorers.
If there is something you want the children to experience or somewhere you are desperate to take them to really bring their learning to life, then don’t hesitate. Assess and manage the risks, talk with your parents and families, make a plan, and ultimately, make it happen in order to make priceless memories that will stay with your children forever!