Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Learning at Disney!



Please excuse our temporary absence... we have been traveling! 

   First, we headed back home to my parents house for some dress shopping as my younger sister is getting married this coming spring! Chickadee had a WONDERFUL time trying on flower girl dresses and kept saying "I feel like a princess!" and loved, loved, LOVED the mirrors to twirl in front of! 

   Then, only a few short days after returning from that trip, we headed to DISNEY WORLD! It was Chickadees first time there and we all had a blast! As a homeschooling family, we used parts of our trip as educational experiences! Nothing extra we did, but things we were already doing down there that could be used as learning opportunities! Over the next few posts, I will be explaining the opportunities we used for learning!

Learning at Epcot:

   


1. Learning about the ocean! Epcot has a wonderful kid-friendly ride and aquarium! "The Seas with Nemo and Friends" is a great area for kids of all ages! First you ride on a clam-shell ride that takes you through a continuation of the Nemo story, complete with scenes projected into a REAL fish aquarium and dolphin pool. The exit to the ride leads to an aquarium type setting full of different tanks filled with sea horses, tropical fish, coral reefs, eels, etc. There is also a pool for manatees (which have been rescued from the wild), a dolphin pool, and a LARGE tank filled with multiple types of sea life (sharks, sting rays, fish, etc.) You can take all the time you want exploring and learning! Also, in this area, is "Turtle talk with Crush" in which you and your child can learn about ocean life as Crush (the father turtle from finding Nemo) learns about humans through an interactive show. It is fun and educational too!

2. Natural wildlife abound throughout the park. In this particular picture, Chickadee climbed up on the railing and promptly stated "Hi Ducks!" as she watched them walk towards the water. With multiple lakes and a lot of trees, the natural wildlife is abundant. 

3. & 4. The 5 senses and Imagination! There is a ride called "Journey into the imagination" which has been there since I went as a young child. It is one of the rides that I remember from my first trip with MY family! It is a great ride full of fun surprises and encourages the use of imagination. It also discusses the use of our five senses and definitely gives you the opportunity to use them both during the ride and after. When you exit the ride, you exit into an interactive play area using different senses. In the pictures above, Chickadee is running to different squares, when stood upon, played different instrument sounds. She had a blast finding one to stand on, listening to the sound, then looking for the matching instrument picture on the wall! All in all, a great experience to incorporate learning and play all together!

5. & 6. Geography/ Different Cultures! The World showcase at Epcot has many different countries to visit. In the pictures above, we were eating at a Japanese restaurant where they cook the food at your table. Chickadee got to experience this kind of dining, authentic Japanese food, and even tried using chopsticks! (Which she was successful at! Making her Dad, who lived in Japan for 2 years, very proud!) There are also places called "Kidcot" stops in each country where you can get a "passport" to take to each of these places and do an activity. Chickadee got to see how her name is written in Japanese, Arabic, see what the Canadian flag looks like, among other fun activities. These "passports" are free and can be picked up at any of the kidcot stations! 

*Other opportunities- 
   There is a ride that takes you on a journey through the past and into the future; There is a ride called Mission: Space which simulated a mission to mars and what it might be like to fly/control a spaceship; there is a ride that talks about Energy and its importance in everyday life; Test-track is a ride which lets you design your own car and "test" it in different circumstances (ie: Wet roads, bumpy roads, high speeds, etc) and at the end of the ride, you see how your car adds up. (Side note: Chickadee designed her own car (its all computerized) and scored a 208 and the top score for the day was 227! We were pretty impressed... maybe we have a future engineer...); Innovations buildings- we were only able to do one of the two due to time, but I LOVED the one we got to check out! Inside they had a fire safety course which was an interactive game followed with a "practice drill" and a real firetruck to look at and explore. It also had an interactive banking challenge (for any age) that taught responsible money decisions and how to save/invest wisely.

I am sure that there are many, many, many other great learning opportunities that I have neglected to remember, but these were some of the ones we used as a "learning" day at Disney!

Learning through play is the best way!

~B


Disclaimer: These thoughts and ideas are purely those of myself and my family. I am not being paid for these thoughts, posts, or advertisement.