Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What can you learn at an amusement park?

        We had a wonderful trip to Canobie Lake Park with my husbands whole family yesterday.    The kids love going on rides together and we often break up into smaller groups so people like Alec, who don't enjoy many park rides, don't have to spend all day waiting around for the more daring riders to rider their rides.  We tried a few new rides and re- rode some favorites that the kids remembered from last year,  it was perfect.  Even the weather was perfect!   We listened to The Iandian in the Cupboard on the drive and Alec played with his Rubik's Revolution cube.  He chose to play a game on it that is similar to Simon -- he managed to get a series of 12 colors in a row without missing any.  I love that, while still an electronic game, he was at least working on memory skills!

      The day proved to be pretty educational.  The boys read signs, ride warnings and postings, maps, and much more.  They also used math in figuring out the cost of food, change received, tickets refunded for prizes in the game area and lots of measuring to make sure they were tall enough for certain rides.  Evan was pointing out numbers to me all day long and doing lots of counting to see how many riders fit on particular rides & how many riders were in front of us.  All the kids worked on estimating to see how long it would take us to wait for particular rides, they estimated whether we'd make it onto the next ride or have to wait one more round, they estimated how much time had gone by since we entered the park (or since we ate lunch, or snack, etc.).  They worked on telling time by reading watches and clock, figuring out how long they had been waiting in line, how long we had until it was time to go home, or time for the park to close.
       My boys and I talked a bit about the science behind some of the rides when discussing why some people bounced higher than other on the Wave Blaster, how bumper cars worked (transfer of motion), why the sky ride swings when it stops in mid-air, and how trajectory and momentum come into play on certain rides.  We also talked about objects in motion staying in motion unless acted upon by a force such as friction.  We talked a bit about geography since we traveled through a few states to make it there and all the other nearby states as well as we saw license plates.  We also talked about the proximity to Canada since we saw several of their license plates around too.   The kids saw and heard people from other cultures speaking in their native languages and wearing various clothing from those regions.  We talked about safety in the park, on rides,  and in public. We talked about nutrition as we pigged out on ice cream, pizza, and snacks for the day.  It's amazing all the learning that can take place when we're having a "day off" from school and "just having fun" at an amusement park! 
reading maps

Bumper cars-- action and reaction


Limited independence builds character and pride

Wave blaster-- the science of action and reaction, springs, momentum, etc. 

simple science lesson with sun, heat and Italian ice! 

More science through rides 


A shooting gallery-- first time any of the kids have held a "gun"

Trying new foods- dippin' dots


Sky ride fun 


Walking all day just isn't enough for Alec.. he
climbed, jumped and made obstacles out of
everything-- great motor skill development! 

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