Caterpillars Trip to the Park

Written by Perry Cruttenden

Due to their age, the Caterpillars group mainly goes on walking trips to local areas, such as the park or the library. While they may not yet be getting the experiences that the older children get, such as trips to supermarkets and museums, trips to their local areas can be a great way to develop their sense of their home and their local surroundings, as well as get used to getting ready to travel with a group.

We start by getting them ready by dressing them in appropriate clothes. Especially during the wet months, it is important to wear rain suits and welly boots to minimise the mess that the mud will make on their clothes, as well as keep their skin dry. A child that is wet and cold is not usually a very happy one! The buggy is also important for children who are not yet walking or have just begun to.

It will be a lot of work to have to carry multiple children!

By this time, they are eager to get out and explore, but encouraging them to hold an adult’s hand while travelling will instil a sense of security, as well as the obvious ability to guide them to their destination. This is the time that we take the opportunity to talk about the things that we can see, modelling new words to enrich their language, and to help make sense and label the world around them.

Walking is a lot of work, and so before we start to play, we need to stop to have some snacks! We try to keep our routine as close as we can to the nursery, where we clean our hands and sit down as a group to eat some fruit and drink some water. Once we have finished, it’s time to really explore!

We like to go to the rose garden, as there are flowers and insects to observe, as well as bushes that have sort of ‘tunnels’ that they love to wander through. The rose garden is also a good area to stop at, as it is enclosed with a fence. Believe it or not, 1 year olds like to wander off, and they will not be able to get too far here!

We have had lots of fun exploring and playing in the park, but now it’s time for lunch, so we start to head back. For the children who are able to, we may try to encourage them to walk back if they sat in the buggy on the way out. It’s only fair that we all get a chance to stretch our legs on the journeys to and from the setting!

Now we are back at Willows, and it’s time for a well-earned meal and nap. Maybe they’ll dream about their next trip out…