Field trips with your kids are awesome! The time together and the memories you make are priceless. Today I have some great ideas for family field trips that will go along with Noah and Me. Obviously, the animals in the story attract the attention of kids and make for great trips, but there are other opportunities for fun family trips that will also relate back to this great story of Noah and the ark.
Animal Family Field Trips
The closest zoo is always a fun trip for all ages. Seeing the animals in person makes a big impression on children. Imagining all these animals together in a huge boat will only enhance the miraculousness (is that a word?) of the actual event. Enjoy the day, take a picnic and your own water bottles if you are looking to save a little money. Once back home, you can print out pictures you took of the animals or cut apart the brochure/map and place them on an ark you make from paper. I am blessed to live in St. Augustine, Florida where we not only have the Jacksonville Zoo close by, we also have the St. Augustine Alligator Farm where we can visit reptiles from around the world, and Marineland is great for getting up close with marine life. Search your area for opportunities to visit live animals – even pet stores are great for viewing fish, gerbils, snakes and some even have spiders, lizards and more.
A farm or a wildlife refuge also makes a great family trip. During a trip to a farm or wildlife refuge, you can often learn a lot more about the daily care of the animals. Relate this to the care Noah and his family gave the animals each and every day on the ark. If you are lucky enough, you may have a friend or family member that will let you come to their farm and help do the chores one day. It is fun to visit a farm and pet the goats, horses, and other animals, but helping with the daily responsibilities of caring for the animals would be a great learning experience for your family.
Boating Field Trips
Head to the closest body of water and visit the boat docks where you can see boats of different sizes. Many times you can talk to the boat owners to learn a little about how they use their boat – fishing, skiing, traveling.
Rent a powerboat and spend the day together on the water. Talk about how such a large and heavy boat can float on the water. Ask the kids to describe riding on a boat from the point of view of the animals on the ark – how would a giraffe from the Savannah describe being on a boat?
Rent (or borrow) canoes or kayaks and take the family to the closest pond, lake, or stream. Let the kids rock their boat and think about how the ark may have rocked as the animals moved around – especially the elephants and hippos! Let the boats drift and see where the water current takes you. Imagine how Noah and his family felt in the ark just drifting for months. If the current takes you into the shore or weeds, remain stuck there for just a few minutes. Then you can talk about how when the ark finally hit land, Noah’s family and the animals were stuck there for a long time. How do you think they felt about that?
I do have several ideas for weather related family trips, but I gotta say that one of my girls’ favorite things to do when they were young was to go outside and play in the rain. The next time you are home with the kids and it rains (safe rain with no thunder or lightning!) put on your rubber boots and take them out for a walk – no umbrellas allowed. Stomp in puddles, catch raindrops in your mouth, make mud pies… you remember all the good messy stuff you loved as a kid!
As far as great places to go as a family, the first place to call is your local television station to see if they will allow your family to visit the weather center. Many do, but if yours doesn’t allow visitors, then as a family, you can write a letter to the weatherman with any weather questions you all come up with.
Check for Children’s Science Museums in your area, most of them include a weather area where kids can explore the tools used by meteorologists and learn more about extreme weather.
Take the family crystal shopping. I did a Google search for crystal shopping in St. Augustine and found six local shops. You may have a shop in your area that you don’t even know about. If not, you may have to go online and let your family members pick out a crystal that way. Have fun creating rainbows by holding your crystal in the sun. You can also hang them in the window to remind you of God’s promise daily as the sun hits it and creates a rainbow in your home.
If the weather allows, go outside with your kids and put a misting nozzle on your garden hose. I can’t tell you how many times my two girls said “Look Mom! A rainbow! I made a rainbow!” while we were playing outside. I now get to hear the same excitement from my granddaughters when I give them the garden hose to play with. Of course, you should plan to get wet because spraying adults with a garden hose is just as much fun as making a rainbow.