Last week we were blessed to be able to go the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California with my mom, also known as “Mimi.” We had such a great time! There were wonderful things to see, and sounds to hear (such as the tropical bird exhibit that literally gave me a headache), but the thing that my kids were wonderfully surprised by was the way they experienced the aquarium through touch. They were able to use their hands and reach out and touch different sea animals. For them, this was a first, and it was the thing they wanted to go back do over again before we left. They got to touch bat rays, bamboo sharks, different kinds of star fish, sea anemones, and sea urchins (that had their tips trimmed of course).
It was an amazing opportunity for me, as a parent, to enjoy my children experiencing something totally new. You can see the joy on their faces (and mine). If you get a chance to take your children somewhere that they can actually touch things with their hands, you will be able to unlock a whole new way of learning for them. You could take them to a touch pool, like the ones at the aquarium, or a farm where they can touch animals and maybe even milk a cow or goat. You could also take them to a craft class where they can use their hands to create something. Whether you are on vacation or not, it is always a good idea to seek out opportunities to enhance your child’s learning.