When we traveled to Walt Disney World in 2008, we took our son out of school for the vacation. I knew he was going to miss school, but I was convinced he would learn more at WDW in a week than he would in his classroom. Being a former teacher, I still wanted him to be "actively" learning while on vacation. We made a daily vacation journal, went on an ABC scavenger hunt and did a "Flat Stanley" scrapbook as well. We read maps, figured out how much our meals would cost, estimated the amount of time we would wait in lines, watched the weather forecast to determine the best clothing options and experienced a LOT of the World Showcase.
While we were touring the World Showcase, we did not participate in the Kid Cot Stations with the masks or collecting stamps for a passport. We'll save those for another trip! But, I was thinking about other ways to tie in education to the World Showcase. While the options are endless, I'm going to focus on ideas mainly for younger students (preschool- 3rd grade).
Make your own passport type book prior to your vacation. In the passport book, include basic questions about each of the countries and a map of each country.
When you visit each country, have your child interview a cast member from that country. Have the cast member answer the questions you have provided and have them show your child on the map where in the country they live and mark the map!
Have the cast member write your child's name using characters from their countries "alphabet."
Have your child draw the flag of each country.
Ask a cast member to teach your child how to count from 1-3, 1-5 or 1-10 in their language (depending on the level of you child).
There are so many ways you can sneak in learning while you are on a vacation to Walt Disney World! Be creative. Talk to your child's teacher prior to your vacation and see if he/ she has suggestions of ways to make the vacation a learning experience.
Happy learning at the Most Magical Place on Earth!