Yesterday I did a post about how I turned our trip to the Philadelphia Zoo into something more therapeutic and educational for K. Today, I want to give you some free or low cost options.
First, let’s review what all you can work on during a “field trip” that you do on your own.
~Applying already acquired skills across all environments
~Speech-mimicking sounds, trying new vocalizations in pronouncing new words
~Literacy-reading program brochures, flyers, maps, signs, as appropriate
~Math-as appropriate-money involved, counting, matching
~Sensory & Textures-touching new things, tasting new things
~Joint attention-viewing things or exhibits together
~Social skills-waiting in line, waiting your turn, respecting personal space of others
~PT-walking across uneven surfaces, inclines & declines, stairs, increasing endurance, playgrounds
~OT-fine motor can be done just about anywhere, many places have fun activities for kids
~Executive Functioning-incorporate higher level thinking and planning into your trip: “how long do you think it will take us to get there?” “what do you think we should pack in our lunches?” and you can even create projects around the trip, which can be chunked down (or let child do chunking) and applied as appropriate
This is some of what we did last summer, plus some of our plans for this summer. All of these options are either free or cost very little per person (under $5):
- Herr’s Potato Chip Factory Tour
- Coverdale Farm in Greenville, DE
- Baily’s Dairy in Pocopson (we go here every Friday for milk–it takes us half a day to get 2 gallons of milk!)
- Nottingham & Hibernia County Parks
- Anson Nixon Park-new playground for 2013
- Liberty Bell in Philadelphia
- Smith Kids’ Play Place in Philadelphia
- Milburn Orchards, Cecil County for pick your own, whatever you pick you pay for, but I consider it groceries, so it’s all good.
- Your own backyard-for gardening or picknicking
- Your own front yard-for a lemonade stand (depending on ability)
- Most community pools will let you visit 1-3x prior to purchasing a membership (yes, I actually did this last year at both local Ys)
Additionally, for big, popular venues, check their websites for special offers. Some offer discounts for unpopular days and times, so you just need to work around that. This really doesn’t take much extra effort (other than actual taking the child, which can be work some days!) other than the planning of where to go and when. Initially I was a bit stressed at K not having school for 7 weeks this summer and how I was going to fill that time with meaningful activities. Now, I have so many things on our agenda, I’m wondering if I can fit it all in! Don’t worry, more lists to follow for other regions! This is meant to be a fun, light-hearted approach to summer educational activities. If you have any real concerns about your child’s summer ESY programming contact your IEP team.