Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Epcot's World Showcase is Educational!

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! 


  1. Great ideas, Beth! We did something similar to a couple you mentioned. I keep meaning to post it and haven't gotten around to it. It's likely any future trips we take will be during the school year as well, so I'll definitely keep this in mind. Thanks!

  2. Great ideas! My little guy is a bit young yet, but we will definitely be doing this. And talking to the Cast Members is perfect!

  3. Wonderful ideas! Since my little one will be 4 1/2 when we go to Disney World again, I would love to incorporate some of these tips in our trip. I think it would be great for him to learn to count from 1-5 in each language! Thanks for sharing.

    Bitten by the Disney Bug

  4. A parent of one of my former students had her son, who was very shy, learn how to say hello in each country's language on one trip by asking a cast member at each pavilion. She said after that, every trip they took, he remembered how to say hello in each language and would say hello in the native language at each pavilion they visited. This is a great list! What do you think is a good age for the Kidcot stops? I think Hayley would love that, but not sure about my other two.

  5. I remember doing the same thing (having my daughter keep a journal) when she was little... her teacher loved it!

  6. Beth- really, I think it depends on the child as to when they are ready. Kinda like teaching! ha! Some kids at 3 are ready, while others (like my oldest) would have never done it. I'm hoping Cman will do it on our next family trip (not september!).

    There is so much to learn at the WS that parents look over. It's so much better than the classroom!! :)