We’ve just come back from a little trip to the SeaLife Centre, one of Toby’s favourite places to visit. He literally loves it! It got me thinking, there are so many ways to teach kids about everything from science to basic preschool knowledge at the SeaLife Centre, without them ever even knowing it. I mean, you can be crafty about it yes?
So, a few things for new time you go to the SeaLife Centre (or indeed any other aquarium):
- Count the fish
Sounds daft and pointless but actually kids seem to get a right kick out of counting random things – similar to how we feel about counting the bottles of wine in our well-stocked fridge. If I ask Reuben to sit down and do some maths with me I’m met with the same foot dragging attitude that I feel when it’s time to do laundry, but if I casually drop in “Oh my goodness, what a busy tank. I wonder how many fish are in there, shall we count them?” He seems to have an abundance of mathematical know how. Go figure.
- Set a task
Ideal for children that like to explore, set them a task to find something out. If they can read his is an extra bonus but if they are Reuben’s age it might be something they will have to ask a member of staff. So the last time we went, I asked Reuben to find out as much about Penguins as he could. He, of course, wanted to share the information with his Dad as opposed to me, I’m boring you understand, but he did pick up a few bits and bobs like what penguins eat, that they can be aggressive and that the SeaLife has Humbolt penguins which are small and not fans of icy climates like you see in movies.
- Spot the colours
Colours are awesome at SeaWorld. They have this amazing array of fish and coral, you really can’t miss a single colour. It’s an ideal opportunity for toddlers to learn their colours, and for even younger ones like Edith to learn colour recognition such as “point the the blue fishy..” Etc.
- Learn about pollution
This is something the boys learnt about way back, it was always a big topic for the SeaLife sanctuary team, so we had a good ole chat with them about it and they have picked up a lot. It’s a good way to I still the old “don’t litter” philosophy, in the hope that they will remember it next time and shove that grotty, half eaten lollipop into the bin (or your hand…).
- Name the animals!
Did you know that animals make up a big part of the science curriculum for KS1? Well they do – it’s a huge part of science, from learning about environments that animals inhabit to learning about recognition of different animals and their wellbeing. It’s all in there, so if you go to a SeaLife Centre, take the chance to learn about different animals – from seals to otters – and how they are kept, their vulnerability status, if they are predators or prey… the list is endless!
So there you go, a few ways to keep up the learning when you’re visiting aquariums this summer!