It’s that time of year when lots of schools have residential trips for their pupils, which is a fantastic learning experience for children, but sometimes brings anxiety for both kids and their parents! Here are Ooh La Label’s top tips to help your child get the most out of their residential trip.
- The most important key to success is that old cub motto, be prepared! Your school will almost certainly have issued a list of required equipment so make sure you’ve read this carefully well in advance of the trip and won’t need to make a midnight dash to your nearest 24 hour supermarket to find a pair of waterproof shoes, rucksack or camping pillow!
- Make sure every item your child takes with them has a name label. In the chaos and fun children often mislay things – if you want them to bring home everything they take, name labels are important. Labelling everything needn’t be a lengthy chore though – Ooh La Label’s name labels are no-sew, no-iron, stick-on name labels that go through the washing machine, tumble drier and dishwasher: they’re quick, they stick and they can be customised with your school badge or even a picture of your child.
- Children often like structure and routine so if your child is nervous, familiarise them with the itinerary so they know what to expect. Talk through any activities they’re going to be taking part in so they understand what will happen and when. If your school has run the trip previously speak to other families who have already been to get your child excited.
- Prior to the trip, use the opportunity to get your child doing more for themselves at home. Encourage them to help lay the table, or wash up afterwards. If they don’t already, show them how to make their bed. These simple tasks are likely to be expected of them on the trip and it’s a great excuse to get them involved in the chores at home.
- When you’re packing (remembering to put name labels on everything!) pop a little note from you into their bag for them to find when unpacking. You could even include a picture of your family. This reminds the child that you’re thinking of them and can be a great comfort if they get homesick.
- Don’t let your child pick up on your anxiety. It is often the parents that feel the separation more acutely – the kids are too busy having fun and learning new things. Children often mirror their parents’ attitudes so even if you’re nervous, try not to let them know that and send them off with a wave and a big smile.
- Finally, be enthusiastic and excited about the trip. It’s a wonderful experience for children to spend time away from home and challenge themselves to try new things. They are making memories that will last a lifetime and this is invaluable.