All Day Mall Field Trip

Today was our annual all-day mall trip with our special education program. We had about 30 students attend, 5 teachers, and tons of staff members. We had a blast! AND, surprisingly, everything went smoothly!

We plan to go to a mall that is about 45 minutes away, and to be honest the long bus ride is kind of nice, but that's not why we do it :) This mall also has a movie theater which makes the all-day trip go quickly!

So, we got to the mall around 9:30, broke up into small groups and shopped for about an hour. This was awesome. I love seeing my students out in the community. I was surprised at how well many of my students did with shopping for others and not asking to buy things for themselves; however, we did end up browsing through the Disney store! We did have to check prices to see if we had enough money and even asked an employee how much an item without a price cost. I took a group of 3 boys into Forever 21 to find jewelry for their sisters. They were so cute in picking everything out. And one of my students stopped as we were walking by Bath and Body works and was like, "we NEED to go here!" and he picked a present for his mom by himself (complete with smelling different options and finding a holder for the hand sanitizer). That was really cool to see. I also try to take pictures of my students picking out the gift for the parents to see.

Also, I found out another group of my (boy) students who were with an aide, wanted to go inside Victoria's Secret (and were taking pictures of the ads) and wanted to go to Spencer's Gifts! Ummm, NO! As much as I want to work on age appropriate behaviors, and I guess these would have been "high-school appropriate", and definitely more so than the Disney store, they were definitely not appropriate and not allowed! :)

Then, we went to the movie theater and saw Wreck it Ralph. I loved the movie theater! No lie, the seats were all leather recliners with tons of aisle room! It was a great break in the middle of our trip. And we got to experience getting our tickets, some students got food from concessions, and practice appropriate behavior in a movie theater.

By the time the movie was over, it was 12:30, so we went out to the food court and everyone choose where to eat, ordered, and paid for their lunch. Some students finished early and walked around the mall a little bit longer and others just waited until it was time to leave. By 1:45 we were all on the bus and heading back to school!

I love this trip. Not only are we working on such important community skills, but it also provides our students with this typical high school, hanging out with friends, activity that they usually don't get the opportunity to do. (And the students are usually so excited about the gifts they found for their family members.)


  1. Omigosh that sounds AMAZING! I love that they went shopping for their family members. You must be exhausted!

    - Sasha
    The Autism Helper

  2. How did you handle the money, did your parents send money in with their students or did you provide a certain budget?

  3. For this trip, I had the parents send in money.

    For other community trips, I would usually give students a certain amount and their parents could send in more if they wanted. We sell coffee and greeting cards as fundraisers, you can also read more about those here on the blog!


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