Thursday, July 21, 2011

Learning on Vacation

Our family is spending a week at the beach. To be sure, there is plenty of wave jumping, sand digging and boardwalk walking. But, being a mother who likes to suck the fun out of everything by making it educational (ha!), I also made a point to get off the beaten path and explore the shore in a different way.

We rode a skimmer boat through salt marshes and explored bird habitats and wetland ecosystems. There was all sorts of direct education that the kids may or may not have learned from. But what I appreciated even more were some of the accidental lessons. When the boat driver had to pull the boat over not once, but twice, to pick up abandoned swimming noodles, the kids got to see the impacts of carelessness and littering on nature. And when the tour guide pulled sea grass, shrimp and snails out of the water to investigate, the kids helped dump them all back in, remembering to leave nature the way they found it.

I like injecting a little learning into our relaxation time. It is extra nice when it's a whole family affair and when the kids see it as part of their vacation adventure.

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