It varies so much depending on where you live. Here, in our city, there's Clayworks. She brings clay. Kids make things. She fires them and then returns them. There's also one that brings ceramics for kids to paint and then fires and returns them.
Our local zoo does in school visits. So do the pet stores.
I, myself, do art and science workshops for preschoolers, but I bet we don't live anywhere near each other!
I'd say think of topics your kids are interested in or that you are wanting to introduce. Let's say you want to introduce nutrition. Call dietitians and grocery stores - see if there's anyone who would come out to do a program. Often by calling experts you'll end up finding someone who does in school programming or who knows someone who will.
Our city also has many children's entertainers: musicians, clowns, magicians.
Do some googling, some calling, and some Yellow Page searching. You'd be surprised what you'll find!
Another thing our city has is an organization for preschool teachers. I belonged, served on the executive, and the information and contacts we shared with each other was phenomenal! Contacts with other preschool teachers is essential.
Any chance there's a Mad Science near you? http://www.madscience.org
We had a "tooth fairy" come who is actually a dental assistant. She comes in and talks about dental health - X-rays and fillings. She brings an X-ray, a dental bib ...etc... she dresses up like a fairly in an old Tutu and has a wand - very effective. She gives all the kids toothpaste and a toothbrush.
How about a trip to the cafeteria to have an early or late lunch -- they get to see what the big kids do.
Have the bigger kids come in and do an art project with them.
Ambulance workers may come in and bring their ambulance. How about a dance place to teach the kids dance?
1. The ambulance company.
2. Some dentists will come or send a hygienist to demonstrate proper dental care. Call your local Dental Society.
3. See if you can get some High School musicians to come on a day school is closed and demonstrate how the instruments sound.
4. If you have some money to spare hire a professional artist to work with kids in the classroom to make some sort of permanent installation for the room.
Schedule an author or illustrator visit. Many will ask the children to help create a story as they draw pictures based upon the children's suggestions. Invite a theater troupe to perform at your school. I have been witness to many that have made the children a part of the show. Have a storyteller spin some tales for your wee ones. Let a band drop by and bring a load of unusual instruments for the children to play. Arrange a magic act and find a magician who will reveal some secrets to the children.
If you're looking for more vehicle ideas, how 'bout inviting the National Guard to your school? They might bring a Hummer (or a tank!) for your children to clamber onto. Contact the local public transportation agency and see whether it will send out a bus for the children to explore. Is their a news agency or hospital in your area that has a helicopter? See whether or not it will drop in (literally) for a demonstration. I worked at an elementary school where they PTO sponsored an annual vehicle day. I recall one year seeing a helicopter, two fire engines (one modern and one historic), a tank, a public bus, a police car, an ambulance, assorted construction vehicles, classic sports cars and a monster truck. The local car dealerships might be eager to display some of their stock, especially if they know parents are going to be there.
As for animals ideas, contact a conservationist in your area. You might find someone to bring in exotic animals like snakes and spiders or large birds of prey or unusual insects or endangered mammals. Imagine the possibilities! Ask a museum curator to bring in animal pelts and teeth and skeletons. Invite a paleontologist to speak and to bring some fossils for your children to touch, and then ask your parents to create a special fossil bed in an oversize sandbox for your students explore. What an adventure that could be!
Well, good luck! I hope you decide on something spectacular for your children to experience.
I just created a curriculum using all the cool stuff on the US mint website. It is called the HIP program. It has coloring pages, things to read to kids and it is all about the money in our country. I loved the site. You should check it out!
Police department or sheriff's office might have a safety program
If you have state university extension they may have a nutrition program
If you have Farm Bureau in the area they may have an Ag in the Classroom program
County Health Department might have something on nutrition or safety
try your local library - they love to visit!
try the local 4 H groups or cornell cooperative extension - they have activities that they could do based on the ages of the children
We had a traveling dairy farm come to the parking lot with a cow. The trailer was designed to showcase the cow and allow the students to watch it be milked with a milking machine and watch where the milk went into the clear glass vat. The kids absolutely loved it.
a local farmer
some local kindergarten teachers from the kids school districts (good to do in the summer months while they are off)
pet store owners
a local artist or art students
local actors that could do skits or plays
a local chef or restaurant owner who could do some cooking demonstrations
any nearby colleges/universities? 1. They may have students with special talents (art, music, drama, science) or groups that do demonstrations 2. There may be science professors that will do kid friendly experiments and such
Someone from your local DNR (department of natural resources) who could bring in animals and things
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