With school back in full swing, field trips are about to begin. That means, thousands of unsuspecting parents will be roped into chaperoning. While I’ve been there, done that and would do it again a million times over, it’s also pretty trying sometimes! Here are a few pointers:
Bring Your Patience: You’ll need it. The kids are crazy excited to be headed wherever they’re going to do whatever they’re doing because it means they aren’t at school. Hyperness and occasional insanity will ensue. Mentally prepare yourself.
Bring Snacks and Lots of Water: In order to survive the day, you need to have plenty of fuel and water. Eat a full breakfast and drink plenty of water. Chasing kids around is no joke!
Pack a Survival Kit: In additional to snacks and H2O, I highly suggest loading your backpack with a few key things: BAND-AIDS, BAND-AIDS, and did I mention BAND-AIDS? Also, Kleenex, a barf bag, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, bug spray, an extra pair of gloves (depending on whether) and an extra pair of socks (depending on destination).
Come With a Plan and a Good Memory: Kids are awesome, until they’re not. Think of some fun games you can play with them if you have downtime. Brainstorm ways to remember their names. Decide if you are going to be “good cop” or “bad cop.”
Bring a Good Set of Lungs: While I don’t suggest yelling at kids, trying to gather them after an hour spent running wild on a playground or around a park will be like herding cats. You’ll need to be able to shout. Eyes in the back of your head would also come in handy. Just an FYI.
Sharpen Your Counting Skills: If you arrive back at the bus with one less kid, chances are you’ll never be asked back. If that is your plan, carry on. If not, make sure you have a numbering system to keep track of them. Assign each kid a number and have them sound-off. They’ll think it’s fun and you’ll know you’ve successfully regathered your whole flock.
Don’t Forget the Asprin: For you, not them. I’m sure someone would sue you if you gave little Johnny an Advil. But you’ll probably, most likely end up with a headache. Don’t leave home without this.
Pack Earplugs: Just kidding. Maybe.
Seriously though, kids are great. You’ll probably have just as much fun as they do. Or you’ll want to lose your mind. Could go either way.