5 Reasons Why Aquarium Visits are the Perfect Learning Experience
Rosa Mitchell writer for Deep Sea World, Scotland's National Aquarium tells What To Do With The Kids why Aquarium visits can provide the perfect learning experience.
Visiting an aquarium is a fantastic experience for the whole family, from curious infants to often-unimpressed teenagers. Aquariums are both beautiful and relaxing, but there is also a range of educational benefits to visiting.
From learning about the importance of conservation and the environment to encouraging scientific exploration and discovery, visiting the aquatic creatures and learning about the hidden world of the ocean is a wonderful learning experience.
We’ve looked at five reasons why visiting aquariums as a family can be both entertaining and educational.
1. The Displays Appeal to Different Types of Learners
Even in the same family, children can have very different learning styles. Visual learners, auditory learners, and tactile learners will all have something to pique their interest when visiting an aquarium.
Visual learners will be spellbound by the vibrant colours of the ocean life and the smooth movements of the sharks and rays. Auditory learners will be enthralled by the feeding talks and creature encounters where specially trained aquarists will tell them everything they need to know about marine life and other creatures. Tactile learners will benefit most from the interactive rockpools and creature encounters.
2. Instils an Understanding of Conservation
Many of the creatures at aquariums may be endangered, or have had some of their habitat destroyed. Through this first-hand exposure, your children will develop a better understanding of the importance of conservation and the real-world consequences of not looking after the environment.
3. Encourages Creativity
In aquariums, there are so many incredible creatures that children don’t get the chance to see anywhere else. The variety of colours, patterns and shapes can spark the imagination of any child, from toddlers to teenagers. From the playful antics of the seals to the bright and beautiful amphibians, there is a wide range of things for them to see.
When wandering around an aquarium, your children will have the chance to see creatures they would never have come across in the wild. If you have especially young children, witnessing the way these creatures move and their unusual habits will help to develop their creativity, as well as their understanding of the world outside themselves.
4. Helps Children Develop a Love of Science and Discovery
Aquariums are ideal places for children to discover their love of science. Through immersive learning, they will find out about the animals’ behaviours, their habitats, and their food chains. Through seeing these creatures in real life, your children will become more and more curious about the world around them.
As a result of this curiosity, many children will develop an interest in biology and further sciences, and if you encourage this spark, it could be an interest that could shape their whole lives!
5. Helps with Cognitive Development
For kids of toddler age, being surrounded by extensive visual stimulation will help enormously with cognitive development. If you talk to them about what they are seeing and encourage them to identify the animals, you will help them further develop their vocabulary – and reading out loud the signs and posters dotted around the aquarium will also help encourage your little ones to enjoy reading from an early age.
An Experience for Everyone
From infants to teenagers to parents, a visit to an aquarium offers hands-on learning and expert insights, and it encourages curiosity and development.
So, take the time out to visit an aquarium with your family, for an unforgettable day for everyone!