Winter Learning Activities: The Aquarium

During the winter, many children and families will be spending their weekend time indoors. The weekend offers a great opportunity to visit local area museums.  Many larger cities have aquariums which are great places to visit that are fun and educational and the winter provides a perfect opportunity to escape into their warmth.

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Before going to the aquarium, you should prepare your children for what they will see and learn.  It is also good to have follow-up activities based on what they found to be the most interesting exhibit that they saw on their visit.  The Internet is a great resource for information.

Visit the Aquarium’s Website

When planning a visit to an aquarium, the aquarium websites are a great resource to help to plan your trip.  Popular Aquariums include The Georgia Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Tennessee Aquarium, and Mote Aquarium.   The focus of many aquariums includes rehabilitation, responsible action toward marine animals, rescuing hurt animals, and research to help support the marine animal’s natural environments.  The museum sites can help you to plan your trip by including information about the exhibits, feeding times, and various programs they offer for children.

Virtual Aquarium Trips

If you do not have an aquarium in your area, visiting an aquarium website can provide a great home activity for a virtual field trip.  Many of their websites include web cams on popular attractions from their aquariums.  This can provide a spring board to find subjects that your child may be interested in exploring further.

Virtual Fish Tank

The Virtual Fish Tank website allows children to build their own virtual fish online and then release it into the FishTank exhibit.  This is in conjunction with several science museums.  Children create an account with their parents and then they get to add four of their own designed fish to the larger tank.  They can also see other children’s creations.

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies

The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies provides information about research, rescues, conservation, and education about marine animals.  It is a great resource for kids to learn about protecting wild marine life.  Online components of their website include tracking sea turtles, learning how to protect and notify of dolphin strandings in the Gulf of Mexico, and learn about the continued effected of the oil spill.

Aquariums and virtual learning about marine wildlife helps children to learn protecting wild animals, learning more about their environment, safety, and care to protect their animals.  The Internet has vast resources to provide children with vast resources for learning.

Article By Laura Ketcham-VanHellemont

Picture By Rick Smit

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