Amusement parks are usually seen as a place for play and enjoyment. However, this type of place can also open a window of opportunity for learning.
If your children find it hard to be passionate about school and learning in general, it is probably because they have yet to associate academic concepts with real-world situations. It is up to you to show them that the things they are being taught at school are actually at the core of the things they enjoy.
A trip to an amusement park is no different. To help open your children’s eyes to this fact, try bringing them to one of these places and follow these five tips on how you can make each trip fun and educational at the same time:
1. Bring Forth the Science Trivia
Science is fun, but in the beginning, your child might not think so. Convince him otherwise by correlating the things he enjoys most in amusement parks with some of the common-yet-fascinating scientific concepts.
Below are some examples of scientific facts that you can try to add to the discussion on your next trip to the amusement park:
Acceleration describes the changes in an object’s speed or direction. Popular amusement park rides like roller coasters run at a high acceleration rate. In contrast, carousels and similar slow-moving attractions have lower acceleration rates because of their gradual change in speed and direction.
● Newton’s First Law of Motion
Also known as the Law of Inertia, the First Law of Motion described by Sir Isaac Newton explains how an object stays in uniform motion on a straight line unless an unbalanced force comes into play. It also applies to things that are not moving or at rest.
In the amusement park, you can find this scientific concept in the pendulum ride. This aptly-named attraction swings a gondola filled with passengers in a back and forth movement.
● Gravitational Force
The gravitational force is the invisible and intangible force that attracts two objects to each other. The extent or power of this force depends on the distance and mass of the objects involved.
While large-mass bodies like the Earth and the sun have strong enough gravitational forces that are able to influence subsequent motion, smaller ones like two people in an entertainment theater cannot.
Also, gravitational force – combined with inertia and acceleration – is what pulls the rollercoaster down. It also contributes to the feeling of weightlessness passengers feel when riding such attractions.
2. Choose Attractions to Visit Wisely
Aside from rides, many theme parks offer varying exhibits and shows. Some of them even encourage children to participate and learn about the world they live in. From learning about fossils to honing their social skills through music and storytelling, an educational and recreational center is great for fun and learning at the same time.
It is where you’ll find exhibits and interactive displays that might tickle your little one’s fancy, making it a great alternative to the usual merry-go-round parks you go on weekends.
Who knows? Maybe he’ll become interested in a particular subject so much that he could become a rocket scientist, doctor, or even a botanist.
3. Take Advantage of What the Park Has to Offer
As the name implies, theme parks follow a specific subject matter in their attractions. Take advantage of whatever the theme is for the amusement park you’ll visit next by incorporating it in your child’s education or a specific subject matter.
For example, ocean theme parks and water parks with sea animal attractions are excellent for kids who wish to learn more about the seas and the creatures that live in it. Similarly, roller coasters and speedy park rides are perfect for reviewing the laws of physics.
4. Teach Them How to Use a Map
Map reading is an essential skill that is crucial for survival. Unfortunately, it is also becoming a lot less popular, especially among kids, since they now have GPS and Google Maps to help them navigate a new place.
Luckily, theme parks can help you introduce the beauty and usefulness of map reading. Before entering, give each child a copy of the theme park map to use when you go on your separate ways. Have them mark your rendezvous point to ensure that they know where to find you when the day ends.
Of course, this may only be applicable for older children as the younger ones might find the task too difficult and end up getting lost. If you still want them to participate, you can opt to assign an adult to chaperone them throughout the day.
5. Track Your Walk
Not only will this help you and your kids become healthier, but tracking your walk could also serve as an opportunity for them to learn math. Although math is considered a scary subject in school, it can become a lot more interesting when applied on your trip to a theme park.
Aside from using your smartphone or pedometer to count the number of steps you make around the park, you can have the kids calculate how far you’ve walked, the number of steps made for every mile, and your average walking speed. You can also have them convert miles into kilometers and vice versa.
Mix Up Amusement and Education
There’s nothing more fun and exciting than a trip to a theme park. Add learning into the mix to help your child make the most out of the trip by using this article as a guide, and watch your child’s love for learning come to life.
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