Friday, April 6, 2012

Learning at the World

Without school aged children, I can schedule a visit to WDW whenever my work schedule permits - allowing me to avoid the crowds and the heat.  But, what about when they are older?  My guess is that, for at least their first few years in school, I won't feel too guilty making them miss a couple of days for an amazing family vacation.  But, what if I do?

Disney has thought of everything.  They have the "Youth Education Series" - mainly to attract field trips or homeschool groups, but - on select dates - is open to individuals (with a minimum group of children required for the group!).  For children in kindergarten through high school, Disney leads series through the parks to show them education in motion.

Whether Science, American, or World History, Disney is a perfect place to educate.  Physics and magnetism are taught with the roller coasters. American History can easily be seen in Liberty Square.  Oceanography can easily be explored at the Living Seas Pavilion in Epcot's Future World.  Many of these areas have classes - each age group with their own activities - but taking education outside the classroom.
Studying the Fish in the Living Seas Pavilion
Not interested in a group activity?  For kids ages 8-14, teacher Tracie Cook wrote a fantastic book called "Walt Disney World Adventure: A Field Guide and Activity Book for Explorers" that I was lucky enough to review when it was being published.  This book leads you in an interactive trip through the 4 theme parks, learning the entire way.  

Disney's Imagineers created these theme parks with extreme attention to detail - Main Street U.S.A. ages as you walk down the street - showing life at the turn of the 20th century.  Liberty Square shows Colonial U.S.A. with extreme details - shutters hanging crooked to represent the leather straps once used to hang shutters when metal was scarce and so much more! 

With a little bit of research and planning, you can add "edutainment" into your Disney Family Vacation and help your kids learn while enjoying the wonders of such a happy place!

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