The pumpkin patch craze has taken the nation by storm in recent years becoming a fall tradition for many American families. However, a pumpkin patch is also the ideal fall field trip for preschoolers and elementary students! Whether you’re a parent, preparing your child for a school trip, or a teacher planning the excursion, this ultimate guide to pumpkin patch field trips has everything you need to ensure a fabulous and safe day! We’ll look into popular farm activities, discuss what you need to pack, and walk through the logistics of planning a pumpkin patch field trip. Let’s get to it!
Arkansas Frontier: The Perfect Pumpkin Patch for Your Field Trip
From gem mining to duck races, pumpkin picking to train rides, Arkansas Frontier has everything you need to ensure a fun and unique field trip for preschoolers and elementary students. Our property is a vibrant and educational experience. We were founded by teachers, you know! Let your littles learn about Frontier life on our Pioneer Homestead or visit the Indian Village. Just give us a call, and we can help you organize a day that will be perfect for your class. By the way, teachers always enjoy free admittance at Arkansas Frontier!
Call 501-589-3122 to book your Group Tour.
Choosing a Field Trip to a Pumpkin Patch
While every pumpkin patch is different, there are a few basics that you can expect to see at the most popular options. These basics include a pick-your-own pumpkin patch, a snack shack or small food option, and simple carnival or yard games. If there are multiple pumpkin patches in your area, you’ll want to take a hard look at their list of activities and make your decision based on the age-appropriateness of the options.
For instance, when planning a field trip for elementary students, look at pumpkin patches that include hands on educational content as their primary focus. Some pumpkin patches are just fun and games, which can be …well, fun, however you do want the students to learn something as well. These interactive and self-driven options can be very appropriate for older children as well. When planning a field trip for kindergarten or preschool students, you may want to look for duck races, gem mining, dino digging, and train rides. You’ll also want to ensure that your chosen patch offers group tours for the number of children you intend to bring.
The most highly rated pumpkin patches may include:
- Corn pits
- Corn cannons
- Carnival games
- Duck races
- Train rides
- Gem mining
- Bounce pads or houses
- Farmer’s markets
- Pumpkin painting or decorating
- U-pick pumpkin patch
- Photo stations
- Corn mazes of varying difficulty
- Haunted houses
- Face painting
- Pony rides
- Petting zoo
- Organized scavenger hunts
- Giant lawn games
- Organized fall festivals
Plan Your Pumpkin Patch Field Trip for Preschoolers or Elementary Students
After you’ve narrowed down your options to one or two pumpkin patches, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty of planning. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your field trip is well-organized and that everyone is on the same page.
1. Consult the Experts
Check out the websites of your preferred pumpkin patches and decipher their preferred communication method. Most patches will require advanced registration for larger groups. Some require special notification for any organized group, no matter the size. It’s best to fill out the appropriate online forms or call ahead at least two weeks before your field trip, but honestly, the earlier, the better. The operators of top-rated pumpkin patches are expert event coordinators by nature of their job. They’re your best ally when it comes to planning your trip. They can suggest specific activities to include, help with lunch ideas, and even organize special events for your group in some cases. Look at their website in advance so you know what they offer, then work together to create a field trip that is optimal for everyone.
2. Consult the Parents
Once you have a pumpkin patch booked and activities planned, notify parents. You’ll need to create a permission slip for parents to sign. You also need to recruit several chaperones for your trip. On a field trip for preschoolers, we suggest a ratio of one parent to every 3–4 children. You will travel together as a large group, but having multiple chaperones allows you to divide the children into smaller pods, each with a formal chaperone. Most pumpkin patches are large and spread out. You need as many sets of eyes as possible.
3. Send out the Paperwork
As noted, you’ll need to send out permission slips per your school’s rules. Now is also a great time to send a field trip info sheet to parents. Most parents will be a little nervous about their preschoolers going off campus without them. It’s likely their first time to do something of that nature. The more information you present, the more comfortable parents will feel. This is also your way of ensuring that each child will be appropriately dressed and prepared for your pumpkin patch field Trip. Your info sheet should include these sections:
Location and Contact Information
Whether you use a group texting app or give out your phone number, all parents should have your info, as well as the location of the pumpkin patch and its contact information. Also, consider asking chaperones if they are willing to have their phone numbers given out.
The Activity Plan
Let parents know the detailed plan for the day. Include the specific events you have planned. Give parents the opportunity to veto certain options if they don’t feel comfortable with them.
What to Wear
By notifying parents of the activities, you’ve already given them some help in choosing the appropriate clothing. However, if you will be participating in duck races, pumpkin painting, or other messy activities, parents may want to pack “play clothes” that they don’t mind getting wet and dirty. If you will be taking photos, parents may want to include a nicer outfit for pics. Either way, it’s a good idea to have extra underclothes (deviation from routine in preschoolers equals accidents) and a change of clothes. They will also need to wear tennis shoes or boots and have socks for the bounce houses. Since you’ll likely be traveling in the fall, light jackets are a necessity. Make sure that all excess clothing items have the child’s name written on the tags.
What to Pack
Aside from clothing, parents should pack any medications, special car seats, or safety gear they prefer for their child. If you’re planning a field trip for preschoolers, a small blanket or “lovie” for the car ride is also a good idea. If you’re planning any specific activities that require gear, make sure to let parents know so they can plan accordingly.
The Lunch Situation
What you do for lunch will depend on the pumpkin patch and the plans you’ve made with the owner. Some patches have carnival-style food trucks or huts. On a field trip for elementary students, kids can choose their own lunch. They will need money for this. If planning a field trip for preschoolers or kindergarteners, you may want to have each parent pack a to-go lunch for their child. You may also organize with the owner to provide a picnic-style lunch for the whole class. Whichever method you choose, give parents ample notice, and make sure you have an updated list of food allergies.
Field Trip Funding
Is the school paying for the trip? Will parents be footing the bill? Is it a combination of both? Does the pumpkin patch entry fee include all games, or will kids need some extra dollars to play certain games? The pumpkin patch staff should be able to give you a good estimate of how much cash each child will need to have a fabulous day. This will be more pertinent on a field trip for students who are more independent, who will be visiting the food trucks and playing carnival games. If money needs to be deposited in advance, include a calendar with payment deadlines.
Reminders for Kids
A field trip for students of any age is a departure from the normal. They say it takes a village to keep kiddos in line. They will undoubtedly be excited about their day out, so gentle reminders, from parents and teachers combined, are the best way to ensure safety. Include a list of basic field trip rules that parents can help you instill in the kids before the trip. This could include things like “never go anywhere without your buddy,” or “you should be able to see your group parent at all times.”
4. Triple Check Everything
A few days before the trip, ensure that you have permission slips, funding, and all the necessary information for each child. This gives you a chance to contact any parents that have forgotten.
For Parents: Questions to Ask When Preparing for a Field Trip
In a perfect world, you will all get this detailed information in plenty of time, and you’ll be able to plan appropriately. In reality, it’s unlikely that that will happen. Planning a field trip for preschoolers is a lot of work and takes a special person to do it well. Sometimes, an extra eye can help move things along. If your child is attending a field trip, you have a right and responsibility to ask questions and request information. If you’ve been reading along, you’ve likely already formulated your own list of questions, but here are a few to consider.
Questions: Field Trip for Preschoolers
What should I pack for them to wear?
Do I need to send the car seat?
How will my child be transported?
What is the contact information for the pumpkin patch?
How many chaperones will there be?
What activities will my child be participating in?
Does my child need extra money, and if so, how much?
Do I need to pack a lunch or snacks?
Questions: Field Trip for Elementary Students
Will my child have access to their phone?
What is the procedure for medication administration?
Are there any safety concerns I need to be aware of?
How much money will my child need for games and food?
Once your questions are answered, and you feel comfortable sending your child, you may want to share pertinent information with the teacher. While your child’s primary teacher probably already knows everything they need to, field trips for elementary students often include several classes combined. All the teachers and chaperones need to know if your child has a specific food or environmental allergy. They should be aware if your child is having a problem with another student in their grade. If there has been bullying or a recent conflict, the adults on the trip should be aware so they can keep the children apart or watch for issues.
If your child gets carsick, teachers need to know. If your child has any social or environmental anxieties, let teachers in on that too. You know your child inside and out, and you’re the best judge of how they will likely act on a field trip. If you have any concerns, even if they seem insignificant, you have the right to address them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and volunteer pertinent information.
It’s Pumpkin Time!
We hope this ultimate guide to a pumpkin patch field trip for preschoolers and elementary students has been helpful to you! While each pumpkin patch differs, as do the rules for field trips at each school, with this guide in hand, you have the basics to get started. If you’re a teacher planning a field trip, remember that the earlier you get information to families, the better. Also, the more information you provide, the more at ease parents will feel.
If you’re a parent in this situation, remember that your input is valid and helpful! By asking questions and providing pertinent information, you help the teacher decipher what information to send out to everyone. If you’re questioning it, chances are that other parents are too. It’s a joint effort, and everyone’s point of view helps ensure the kids are safe and prepared, so they can enjoy a fantastic day at the pumpkin patch!
Are you a homeschooling family looking for an appropriate field trip? Check out our article on “45 Educational Field Trips for Homeschoolers.”