Even most parents will still have vivid memories (whether good or bad!) of school trips taken during their childhood, maybe of trekking in the rain, going in a canoe for the first time or messing around in a dorm room full of bunk beds and best friends. They can be a source of great excitement or anxiety for primary school children, but it is hard to deny that school trips are a fantastic learning experience which develop many skills and stimulate children in a way that arguably cannot be matched day to day in a classroom.
School trips these days
Whilst parents might remember trips involving camping or staying in basic hostels, doing orienteering and hiking, an increasing number of dedicated adventure centres have been popping up across the country over the years, with an ever-expanding range of tree top rope courses or water sports programmes. Perhaps even more impressively, children as young as primary school age are offered the chance to go on school trips abroad! In general, schools offer a one-night residential for children at the start of Key Stage 2, and a longer trip in Year 6. However, schools are not currently under any obligation to offer trips, nor are children obliged to participate when they are offered.
The potential benefits of school trips
Being away from parents can provide children with a great opportunity to develop independence and confidence.
They allow children to experience adventure in a way that you as parents may not be able to match because of the needs and limitations of other family members. Children may discover a love for the outdoors, an appreciation for nature and more confidence in their physical capabilities. Under the supervision of trained activity leaders, children are able to try new things in a safe environment
Team building exercises are almost always built into the school trip programme, perfect for developing pupils’ team work capabilities.
And last but not least, many children create life-long memories on school trips which often inspire new passions or hobbies.
Obstacles to consider
Of course, school trips are not without their complications.
Firstly, and perhaps most significantly, is the issue of safety. Taking children on residential trips, or even just to the local museum, involves staff assuming a huge level of responsibility. When something goes wrong on a school trip it dominates the news headlines, despite thousands of trips being a great, safe success each year.
Another issue is cost, parents possibly feeling under pressure to pay for their child to go so that they don’t miss out on something their classmates will get to enjoy together. Some schools offer funding to support low-income families in these cases, but this doesn’t always mean everyone can get the support they need.
In addition, there is the issue of potential homesickness experienced by the children. There is often debate over whether they should be able to phone their parents during the trip, or whether they should learn to deal with the distance in order to grow in confidence and independence.
Not only is it likely that children will miss their parents, but parents too are often very much affected by the distance during the trip and anxious in the run up to it.
It can be a nerve-wracking time for parents when they send their child off on their first residential school trip as, apart from maybe a sleepover at their grandparents’ or another family member’s house, it is likely the first time they have spent the night away from you in someone else’s care.
The best way to minimise stress is to prepare your child well so that they will be as comfortable as possible and have everything they need. One way to do this is to make sure all of their clothing and belongings are labelled to avoid any confusion or mix ups.
Preparing for the trip by labelling everything
We all know that school uniform has to be labelled because everyone’s looks the same and the schools drill into parents that labelling all items is vital. However, when residential or day school trips come around and the kids go off in their own clothes with different items than those they’re used to taking to school, it can be easy for labelling to slip parents’ minds!
At NameTags4U we have various types of name labels for clothing, shoes, stationery, lunch boxes and much more, so we’ll have you covered for when your child goes away on an adventure with their classmates!
For clothing, there are several options to consider. Traditionally, customers love our iron on labels for clothing as they really do become part of the garment when applied correctly and they have been known to last for years! Now, our stick on labels can be used for clothing too when applied to the silky care label inside the garment. As they’re waterproof and dishwasher-proof, you can put them on your child’s water bottle, bag, toiletries like toothpaste and shampoo and any other things they’ll need during their trip. Their waterproof quality can be particularly useful if the trip involves swimming or splashing about in kayaks! Both the iron ons and stick ons can be customised with your choice of colour, font, logo or even photo- kids love designing their own!
If you’re looking for the absolute quickest option for children’s clothing, there’s no denying that our StampaName and Multistamp will have their items labelled in seconds! The special textile ink they come with lasts fantastically in the washing machine. Logos can be added to these, too! The Multistamp is particularly suited to big families as you can have up to 4 names on 1 stamp block, and once the ink runs out, just order a replacement pad and keep the stamp block to use year after year!